Qualcomm Announces New Snapdragon SDK Designed For VR


2016 will most likely be remembered as the year when the concept of virtual reality took flight, as VR continues to become a real phenomenon not only for PC gamers and high-end consumers but also for the mobile market. The Samsung Gear VR is the most popular mobile VR headset currently on the market, and when paired with the Samsung Galaxy S7 or the Galaxy S7 Edge, one could say that the Gear VR itself is powered either by Samsung's own Exynos 8890 SoC or Qualcomm's latest Snapdragon 820 chipset, which has been manufactured by Samsung in its own facilities using a 14 nm FinFET process. The latter silicon seems to play a bigger role in the whole mobile VR scene than any other chipset, as Qualcomm recently announced an upcoming SDK (software development kit) designed to take advantage of the Snapdragon 820's full potential in virtual reality applications.

Today Qualcomm Technologies issued a press release detailing an upcoming SDK for the Snapdragon 820, designed to give developers proper advanced tools for creating VR content, ranging from educational and entertainment applications to games and 360-degree videos. The goal is to simplify the development of VR applications for devices powered by the Snapdragon 820, all the while improving performance and power efficiency for Android smartphones and upcoming VR headsets. The list of features includes brand new technologies "crucial for an optimal VR user experience", including "DSP sensor fusion" which allows developers to create immersive and responsive experiences by combining predictive head positioning and high frequency inertial data from accelerometers and gyroscopes. The SDK will also include "stereoscopic rendering with lens correction" for improved visual quality, "VR layering" to help developers generate text, menus, and overlays which would otherwise be difficult to read in a virtual reality environment, and "fast motion to photon" which can reduce latency by up to 50%.


Last but not least, the software development kit will integrate with Qualcomm Symphony System Manager for easier access to power and performance management, which can lead to moreĀ stableĀ frame rates in VR applications running on less-powerful devices. Qualcomm's Snapdragon VR SDK is expected to be publicly available sometime in the second quarter of the year when developers will be able to acquire the kit through the official Qualcomm Developer Network.

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Senior Staff Writer

Mihai has written for Androidheadlines since 2016 and is a Senior Writer for the site. Mihai has a background in arts and owned a couple of small businesses in the late 2000s, namely an interior design firm and a clothing manufacturing line. He dabbled with real-estate for a short while and worked as a tech news writer for several publications since 2011. He always had an appreciation for silicon-based technology and hopes it will contribute to a better humanity. Contact him at [email protected]

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