Qualcomm expands into Europe for VR and AR

Qualcomm expands into Europe for VR and AR

The US chip developer Qualcomm is investing in European locations for VR and AR. The goal is to accelerate the XR ecosystem and thus the development of hardware suitable for everyday use – which in turn uses chips from Qualcomm.

Qualcomm describes the emerging XR technologies virtual reality and augmented reality as the “future of mobile computing” and thus explains its move to invest more heavily in Europe. Europe already offers a “thriving augmented and virtual reality (AR/VR) community,” Qualcomm writes.

Qualcomm plans “XR Labs” in six European cities

Specifically, Qualcomm is initially planning six “XR Labs” in European cities. The cities are not yet known. I have asked and will update the article as soon as I get an answer. More EU cities may follow.

The goal of the XR Labs is to promote the development of “lightweight and elegant” tech eyewear for everyday use. Qualcomm offers its own development platform for XR, Snapdragon Spaces. Among other things, it supports fundamental functions for VR and AR, such as room, hand and finger tracking, object recognition and 3D mapping of rooms.

The U.S. chipmaker a few months ago bought Eastern European AR development platform Wikitude and hand and finger tracking startup Clay Air, whose technologies are in Snapdragon Spaces. The platform is compatible with OpenXR and suitable for tech glasses as well as smartphones and tablets.

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Future market tech glasses: Qualcomm invests and diversifies in XR

Qualcomm does its business primarily with smartphone chips and is looking for a new growth market in XR devices, but competition is increasing in the said field. A special XR chip from Qualcomm is in Meta Quest 2, among others, and Qualcomm also wants to develop a chip specifically for XR with Microsoft. In Germany, Qualcomm is cooperating with Deutsche Telekom.

“The opportunities for XR are significant. Combine that with Europe’s rich R&D and leadership in XR and we see the XR labs in Europe as being a big contributor to XR development worldwide,” said Enrico Salvatori, senior vice president and president of Qualcomm Europe.

Read more about VR and AR:

Sources: Qualcomm