Qualcomm Unveils Snapdragon 845 Mobile VR Dev Kit At GDC

Qualcomm has unveiled a new virtual reality development kit at GDC 2018 that should help usher in better performing headsets and devices for mobile use. The new VR development kit includes a wireless, standalone VR head mounted display and a new SDK. The hardware the VR dev kit leverages is the Snapdragon 845 Mobile VR Platform.

"In virtual reality, content is important to an immersive experience, so we’re excited to grant developers access to our new Snapdragon 845 Mobile VR Platform through development kits that will help them create truly immersive experiences," said Hiren Bhinde, director, product management, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. "We built the new Snapdragon 845 Virtual Reality Development Kit with application developers in mind, designed to abate some of the hassles of optimizing virtual reality content for mobile deployment, as well as to support easier access to several innovations and technology advancements of Snapdragon 845 Mobile VR Platform."

Qualcomm Headset

Qualcomm says that platforms like the Snapdragon 845 can support immersive VR experiences with the right set of tools in the hands of developers. The Snapdragon 845 VR Dev Kit is meant to be that set of tools along with the associated SDK. The system is supported by Snapdragon profiler and power optimization tools that make the development of VR experiences simpler.

Qualcomm says that it has integrated tech that is critical for VR user experience into the new dev kit including room-scale six degrees of freedom (6DoF) with “inside-out” simultaneous localization and mapping (SLAM). "All of this is designed to be accomplished without any external setup in the room by the users, and without any cables or wires."

Qualcomm utilizes Adreno Foveation eye tracking in the dev kit, which renders content (via eye tracking) to deliver the best fidelity to the portions of the scene that are actually being viewed. The new SDK for the dev kit also supports a boundary system that is engineered to help VR devs accurately visualize real-world spatial constraints in virtual worlds for managing notifications and play when the user approaches the edge of the real-world play field.

Qualcomm notes that the Snapdragon 845 Virtual Reality Development Kit hardware HMD and companion SDK will launch in Q2 2018.