Qualcomm introduces new VR reference platform based on the Snapdragon 820

Qualcomm introduces new VR reference platform based on the Snapdragon 820
Qualcomm has today unveiled a VR reference platform at IFA, powered by the Snapdragon 820 chip. Called the Snapdragon VR820, the prominent chip maker touts a completely untethered, standalone experience devoid of connection to PC. Two AMOLED displays, plenty of processing power and an abundance of sensors are all packed into Qualcomm's vision for VR, which it hopes will prompt manufacturers to jump on board and come up with their own iterations. 

The headset's quad-core Snapdragon 820 SoC is flanked by the familiar Adreno 530 GPU. Each eye gets its own 1440 x 1440 AMOLED display, while Qualcomm promises 4K video playback and refresh rates of 70 FPS thanks to HEVC compression. The display duo also supports stereoscopic 3D and foveated rendering — a buzzphraze in the virtual reality scene which essentially promotes a more immersive, natural-seeming experience while reducing VR motion sickness.

The device is adorned with four cameras in total; two for eye-tracking and a further two for monitoring head movements, hand gestures and interactions with virtual objects. The eye-tracking part is quite significant, since it's perhaps the first time a big-named firm has dropped the feature in. Set to bring an all-new level of interactivity to the masses, Qualcomm has drafted in the expertise of an outside company for this particular element, though hasn't divulged the name of the firm in question. 

The device also has four mics dotted around to help drown out ambient noise, and includes a gyro, accelerometer and magnetometer. Sound-wise, the device gets stereo, 3D surround sound, and Qualcomm Aqstic-powered binaural positional audio.

The VR820 chipset will arrive at some point in Q4 2016, shortly followed thereafter by the first headsets. A full press release from Qualcomm can be seen below. 

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