Qualcomm collaborates with 15 global operators to deliver XR viewers within the next year

In Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality and Mixed Reality News

May 26, 2020 – Qualcomm Technologies, Inc., a subsidiary of Qualcomm Incorporated, has today at Augmented World Expo (AWE), celebrated the milestone of partnering with global operators, smartphone OEMs and XR viewer manufacturers to deliver XR viewers to consumers and enterprises within the next year.

Since Qualcomm Technologies’ device category introduction of XR viewers tethered to 5G smartphones, fifteen global operators including China Mobile, China Telecom, China Unicom, Deutsche Telekom, EE, KDDI, KT, LG Uplus, NTT DOCOMO, Orange, SK Telecom, SoftBank, Telefonica, Verizon and Vodafone have shared plans to sample and commercialize XR viewers to provide immersive experiences over 5G.

“The 5G-enabled high bandwidth and low latency, combined with the immersive and interactive experience provided by XR, will bring remarkable changes to the entire industry”, said Chen Fengwei, Deputy General Manager of Terminal and Channel Support Center, China Unicom and Deputy General Manager of Unicom Vsens Telecommunications Co Ltd. “China Unicom has joined forces with 21 XR companies including Qualcomm Technologies to build our 5G XR ecosystem. Qualcomm Technologies’ efforts to enable the commercial deployment of XR viewers for 5G smartphones, including the Qualcomm XR Optimized Certification Program, will help the 5G XR ecosystem grow to maturity steadily following planned launches in 2020,” 

Lightweight, head-worn devices that connect to a smartphone powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 or 865 Mobile Platforms, XR viewers are glasses tethered to a 5G-enabled smartphone via USB-C cable. XR viewers unlock a new generation of immersive experiences using 5G-enabled smartphones that provide high bandwidth and low latency, which is essential for high-quality XR. Smartphone applications can transform user experience by becoming augmented reality (AR) experiences, and workplace meetings can be revolutionized through holographic telepresence with virtual collaboration platforms, as XR and 5G come together to transform how the world connects, communicates and consumes content.

Through the Qualcomm XR Optimized Certification Program, Qualcomm Technologies tests the performance and validates compatibility between the XR viewer and smartphones to help ensure a seamless user experience. There are two certifications, one for smartphone and one for the XR viewer to allow OEMs (both smartphone and viewers) to verify optimization between multiple phones and multiple viewers without requiring them to conduct one-on-one optimization. The Qualcomm XR Optimized Certification Program includes:

  • Six Degrees of Freedom (6DoF) head tracking performance on the viewer and smartphone;
  • Display calibration validation on the viewer;
  • Motion to photon latency validation on the viewer and smartphone;
  • Power and thermal test on the viewer and smartphone;
  • Interoperability between the viewer and smartphone.

Qualcomm states that multiple XR viewer manufacturers are in development, including 3Glasses, iQIYI, Nreal, OPPO, Panasonic, Pico and Shadow Creator. These companies are all going through the certification process to be able to quickly deploy with Snapdragon-powered devices in the coming months. Both smartphones and XR viewers can use the Qualcomm XR Optimized badge from Qualcomm Technologies, which will indicate compatibility and performance to consumers and users. Smartphone OEMs that plan to provide new XR experiences with their 5G-enabled smartphones with viewers include ASUS, Black Shark, OnePlus, OPPO, Smartisan, vivo, ZTE, with others to come, according to Qualcomm.

With the global expansion of 5G, Qualcomm anticipates that the XR ecosystem will be well positioned to “unite superior cellular connectivity with quality hardware and premium XR experiences, which can be scaled on a global level, both in and out of the home.” The company added that within the next year it is hoping that users will be able to “experience a new reality.”

Image credit: Qualcomm Technologies, Inc.

About the author

Sam Sprigg

Sam is the Founder and Managing Editor of Auganix. With a background in research and report writing, he has been covering XR industry news for the past seven years.