Skip to main content

Here's How Qualcomm is Evolving Mobile VR

SAN FRANCISCO – Qualcomm's new Snapdragon 845 processor isn't just powering today's high-end phones – it's also built to help usher in the next wave of mobile VR.

Credit: Qualcomm

(Image credit: Qualcomm)

The chipmaker just announced its Snapdragon 845 Virtual Reality Development Kit, which is designed to allow developers to create incredibly rich VR experiences powered solely by your Android phone.

The standalone headset included with Qualcomm's development kit is loaded with high-end features, including a Snapdragon 845 CPU, a 2560 x 1440, 60 Hz display, 4GB of RAM and 64GB of flash memory.

Those powerful guts will help support a variety of advanced mobile VR features, including accurate room-scale tracking that allows you to move around within a 20 x 20-foot space (like the HTC Vive, but untethered). Qualcomm's mobile VR platform is also built to support Tobii eye-tracking within VR, which could make it easy to control games and apps with just your eyes.

Other key features include foveated rendering (which essentially means better detail), as well as a boundary system that will allow VR creators to "accurately visualize real world spatial constraints within virtual worlds."

The Snapdragon 845 Virtual Reality Development Kit is slated to launch in Q2 2018, with pricing still to be announced. While we'll have to wait and see what developers ultimately do with it, folks with Snapdragon 845-powered phones (such as the Galaxy S9) should rest easy knowing they're getting the best possible mobile VR experiences out there.

Mike Andronico is Senior Writer at CNNUnderscored and was formerly Managing Editor at Tom's Guide. When not at work, you can usually catch him playing Street Fighter, devouring Twitch streams and trying to convince people that Hawkeye is the best Avenger.