Qualcomm announced at the Game Developers Conference (GDC) a new virtual reality development kit consisting of a wireless, standalone VR head mounted display (HMD), and a new software development kit (SDK) for the Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 Mobile VR Platform.
The Snapdragon 845 Virtual Reality Development Kit is designed as a stand-alone mobile VR platform that is supported by Snapdragon profiler and power optimization tools to simplify development and provide VR application developers with access to new VR features.
New technologies supported in the Snapdragon 845 Virtual Reality Development Kit include:
- Room-scale 6DoF SLAM (room-scale six degrees of freedom with "inside-out" simultaneous localization and mapping): VR developers will be able to create applications that allow users to explore virtual worlds, moving freely around in a room, rather than being constrained to a single viewing position. 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 Adreno Foveation: Our eyes are only able to observe significant details in a very small center of our field of vision - this region is called the "fovea". Foveated rendering utilizes this understanding to boost performance & save power, while also improving visual quality. This is accomplished through multiple technology advancements for multi-view, tile-based foveation with eye-tracking and fine grain preemption.
- Eye Tracking: Users naturally convey intentions about how and where they want to interact within virtual worlds through their eyes. Qualcomm Technologies worked with Tobii AB to develop an integrated and optimized eye tracking solution for the Snapdragon 845 VR Development Kit. The eye tracking solution on Snapdragon 845 VR Development Kit is designed to help developers utilize Tobii's EyeCore eye tracking algorithms to create content that utilizes gaze direction for fast interactions, and intuitive interfaces.
- Boundary System: The new SDK for the Snapdragon 845 VR Development Kit supports a boundary system that is engineered to help VR application developers visualize real-world spatial constraints within virtual worlds, so that their applications can effectively manage notifications and play sequences for VR games or videos.
In addition, Qualcomm announced support for the HTC Vive Wave VR SDK on the Snapdragon 845 Virtual Reality Development Kit, anticipated to be available later this year.
The Snapdragon 845 Virtual Reality Development Kit's hardware HMD and companion SDK are expected to be available in the second quarter of 2018.