Qualcomm on Wednesday took to this year's iteration of the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco to announce a new virtual reality development kit meant to support next-generation VR experiences. The solution consists of the Snapdragon 845 Mobile VR Platform, i.e. a specifically optimized version of the company's latest and most capable chip to date, backed by a standalone head-mounted display and a new software development kit. Besides non-tethered headsets, parts of the new technology can also power VR experiences on Android devices equipped with the Snapdragon 845.
The platform supports a wide variety of new solutions promising to significantly improve contemporary VR implementations, with one such flagship feature being 6DoF SLAM, a room-scale tracking solution which doesn't rely on external hardware such as cameras or wires. Adreno Foveation is another new addition, being a technology that improves VR processing efficiency by concentrating the hardware resources at its disposal on the small field of vision human eyes can observe in significant detail while rendering everything else in low-resolution. The end result is a higher perceived graphical fidelity of apps and games, i.e. a solution that can make sure your focus area is always fully rendered in maximum quality while conserving resources on other parts of the screen which you aren't able to perceive as low-quality anyway, with that entire process happening in real time. Improved eye tracking and boundary system support are also part of the latest Qualcomm-made package, as is compatibility with the HTC Vive Wave VR SDK.
Qualcomm is hoping its latest technologies will help push the VR industry forward and indirectly address one of its currently largest issues – lack of flagship content. The company's new development kit is meant to allow for the creation of the most immersive and polished experiences the technology can currently offer in the standalone hardware segment, with Qualcomm claiming the solution has been specifically designed to accelerate app development and streamline access to a number of emerging innovations in the field. The reference headset and the rest of the Snapdragon 845 VRDK will be made available to developers in the second quarter of the year.