Qualcomm has built a virtual reality headset that isn’t going commercial. It was designed to help the user gain freedom of motion without the wires. In addition, it wants to create a middle ground between the high-end and low-end experiences. To illustrate, the Oculus Rift costs $600, while the HTC Vive will set you back around $800. Moreover, both headsets require powerful PCs.
On the other hand, you can pair Samsung’s $99 Gear VR with your phone. Qualcomm wants to offer something in between that wide range of prices. Qualcomm’s headset utilizes mobile technology with Qualcomm’s Snapdragon VR820 chip. All the components are in the headset, which means there is no need for a separate PC. Furthermore, its battery lasts up to two hours. What makes Qualcomm’s headset unique is you can walk around and duck beneath virtual objects. It sounds fantastic, but it is only a reference design for other companies to create a platform.
Qualcomm will let partners customize the final product. Hugo Swart, head of the company’s home entertainment business, said “We couldn’t just build a board. We needed to show a real device.” The company plans to launch the devices early next year. Another benefit of Qualcomm’s work is companies can build VR headsets even if they can’t afford the research and development. Anthony Murray, head of Qualcomm’s internet of things division stated, “This effectively lowers the barriers to entry.” Manufacturing partners may have to pay around $600 for the headset.