Virtual reality figures prominently in recent 2017 mobile development predictions and trends articles, and the emerging technology is getting a boost with a new VR development kit (VRDK) on tap from Qualcomm Technologies Inc.
Designed to work with the mobile platform based on the newly introduced Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor, the kit was announced by the Qualcomm Inc. subsidiary last week, just before the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona and the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco.
The company said the kit will give developers early access to the included Snapdragon 835-powered VR head mounted display (HMD), supported by an upgraded Snapdragon VR SDK.
Those developers will get a head start on the next generation of VR apps, which are becoming increasingly complex and immersive while at the same time being forced to deal with power consumption constraints and high performance requirements, Qualcomm said.
In addition to the HMD — with a two-megapixels-per-eye display, six degrees of freedom (6DoF) motion tracking cameras, two eye-tracking cameras, and 4GB LPDDR4 DRAM and 4GB UFS memory — VR technologies supported by the SDK include:
- DSP sensor fusion
- Foveated rendering
- Fast motion to photon
- Stereoscopic rendering with lens correction
- VR layering
- Advanced application profiling and power management
“With this new VRDK, we’re providing virtual reality application developers with advanced tools and technologies to accelerate a new generation of VR games, 360-degree VR videos and a variety of interactive education, enterprise, healthcare and entertainment applications,” said exec Cristiano Amon. “We see great potential for the exciting new experiences made possible by truly mobile, untethered virtual reality that’s always connected to the Internet, and we’re excited to help mobile VR developers more efficiently deliver compelling and high-quality experiences on upcoming Snapdragon 835 VR-capable products.”
Those Snapdragon 835 VR-capable products are expected to ship in the second half of the year, while developers can get a head start on providing apps with the VRDK, expected to become available on the Qualcomm Developer Network in the second quarter.