Qualcomm has lost an important XR figure to Google

Qualcomm has lost an important XR figure to Google
Former head of the XR (Extended Reality) division at Qualcomm, Hugo Swart, revealed in a LinkedIn post that he was now working at Google. Specifically, Swart has joined up with Google’s ‘XR Ecosystem Strategy and Technology’, presumably to help Google finally release an XR product that sticks. He had left Qualcomm back in February of this year.

Swart has a lot of very relevant experience under his belt. For example, he has worked on the Qualcomm Snapdragon XR chips which power the Meta Quest 3 and other Quest headsets. Meta has the biggest market share in VR today, and Google can make good use of all that expertise.

Hugo Swart joining Google also signals that Google is perhaps finally taking XR seriously. I still mourn the Google Glass, but the recent Project Astra demo finally has me excited for Google giving XR another go. Furthermore, Google also recently partnered with AR company Magic Leap, so we might actually see something XR-related from Google soon.

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Meta Quest 3, powered by a Qualcomm chip, is an amazing headset.

Hugo Swart is also someone who is passionate about XR and thinks it will change the world. In my opinion, he might be one of the most qualified people Google could have hired for its XR division. But how much of his advice the company actually takes remains to be seen.

Google is notorious for abruptly ending support for projects, and I wouldn’t be surprised in the slightest if the company’s next XR product meets the same fate.

As I have hoped for years, the XR industry is finally heating up. Meta has made its Quest OS open-source, companies like Lenovo and Asus are making XR headsets, Apple has entered the industry and Google is considering jumping in too.

Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s prediction that Meta’s investments in XR will become profitable in the next decade might very well prove true.
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