VR is steadily becoming more ubiquitous but we still need to push hardware manufacturers and developers to further improve on their current technologies. Qualcomm is looking to actively participate in this development and bring about certain required changes. Thus, it has today released a new Snapdragon 835-powered VR development kit and Head Mounted Display Accelerator Program for OEMs (original equipment manufacturers).

The chipmaker has already released a reference design for a standalone virtual reality head-mounted display (HMD) earlier last year. It is powered by the older Snapdragon 820 chipset and about five of its designs are debuting in 2017. But, Qualcomm is debuting the new Snapdragon 835-powered developer kit today to attract developers to built powerful VR apps for the mobile platform. Their new chips are designed to carry out heavy image processing and computer vision tasks while using less power.

Seeing the growing scope of VR technology, Qualcomm is also officially launching an accelerator program for hardware maker who’re building virtual reality headsets. The primary goal of this one-of-a-kind industry-focused accelerator program is to help manufacturers reduce engineering costs and time spent to create and ship new products. It’ll provide them with a means to monitor the performance metrics of their HMDs as well.

Talking about this initiative, Cristiano Amon, Executive VP of Qualcomm Technologies, says,

The HMD Accelerator Program is designed to increase scale and lower the barriers for manufacturers to create a cutting-edge HMD effectively and efficiently with pre-validated components while meeting required VR performance criteria.

Qualcomm Technologies has laid the groundwork for consistent, successful and flexible product development so manufacturers can have a commercial product available within just a few months.

Under this initiative, Qualcomm will provide VR hardware makers access to their reference designs, a pre-qualified set of components that’ll provide them with a choice. They can either decide to build their own headsets by themselves using the reference designs or they can also work with ODMs (original design manufacturers) like Goertek or Thundercomm. The company will also provide access to its supply chain partners and product marketing teams for participants of this program. It will also give them a means to monitor their performance metrics.

While the accelerator program is already open for those interested, the new developer kits are expected to be made available to the developer in the second quarter of 2017. The program is currently intended for VR headset manufacturers but will be expanded to soon accommodate innovations in the AR ecosystem as well.

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