Qualcomm wants to power the metaverse.
Well, Qualcomm actually said it will power the metaverse, whatever form it ends up taking.
You may remember Qualcomm CEO Cristiano Amon last year declaring this was the direction his company was taking, by saying: “If you are going to spend time in the metaverse, Snapdragon is going to be your ticket”.
Well, speaking with media ahead of Mobile World Congress (MWC), Qualcomm product VP Mike Roberts continued the chief’s vision. But he reminded us the company has been working on XR for over a decade (and really, no matter how you feel about it, the metaverse isn’t going away any time soon, so it may as well be focused on by companies of Qualcomm’s calibre).
“We believe that the next version of computing will be spatial computing, which many people now are calling the metaverse,” he said.
“Whatever the metaverse ends up looking like, we are going to be powering it.”
Why? Roberts said it’s because Qualcomm has been playing such a critical role over the last 10 years in the space. And that Qualcomm has approached the metaverse with “an ecosystem enabler methodology”. In non-marketing spin, this is via: hardware, software and stuff to allow multiple companies to build on top of their kit.
In November, Qualcomm announced a new AR development platform called Qualcomm Spaces. Described as a multi-device AR development platform and ecosystem, Qualcomm is hoping Snapdragon Spaces will provide the building blocks for creating new AR apps intended for next-gen headsets and beyond.
Qualcomm is generally best known for its Arm-based mobile chips and cellular modems and IP, the pivot to AR development isn’t that much of a stretch, particularly when you factor in that Qualcomm’s Snapdragon XR2 chip is already powering a number of popular headsets including the Oculus Quest 2 (Meta Quest 2, ugh).
Anyway, Roberts said there are currently over 50 commercial devices launched using Qualcomm Snapdragon XR platforms.
During the company’s MWC presentation, however, it announced something pretty big. Qualcomm is partnering with a Chinese company to build the stuff that will help companies build in the metaverse.
“We’re going to be working together on hardware, software and the Snapdragon Spaces XR Developer Platform and technology roadmaps,” Roberts said. “Both companies are committed to building solutions that help excite creators to push boundaries for augmented and virtual reality experiences.”