Qualcomm is edging close to introducing one of the first VR headsets that will function as a standalone mobile headset and also connect to PCs wirelessly. The giant chipmaker has included an 802.11ad wireless 60GHz connection to the headset design it showed off at last year’s Game Developers Conference (GDC), enabling the device to feature a wireless connection with 16ms latency, Qualcomm said. The VR headset could be available for purchase in Asia starting later this year, reports CNET.
Unlike most VR headsets that won’t let you connect to PC for more VR gaming libraries, Qualcomm’s new headset design it called “Boundless XR” makes that possible. While being able to connect to PCs, the new Qualcomm headsets will have six-degree of freedom (6DOF) also functioning as a standalone mobile headset.
Powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 845 processors, the headset’s design enables it to process VR technology while connected to a PC. In other words, the connection won’t take down your PC’s processing power. Qualcomm is yet to disclose in details how much processing power this saves. PCMag explained that Qualcomm headsets will offload graphics rendering workload to the PC while taking care of other VR processes such as latency and time warping.
Qualcomm said the VR headset, which can stream VR content over 5G networks, can only connect to the PC’s or consoles that run Qualcomm software while supporting 802.11ad antenna, also that the new headset will support games without any changes. The headset can stream VR content over 5G networks.
With built-in tracking onboard Qualcomm headset, you can move around without the need for external sensors. Qualcomm developed the headset using the best from both PC-based virtual reality hardware and mobile VR computing, the company said. However, there’s one outstanding limitation: the technology’s range when connected to PCs. The wireless router must have a line-of-sight with the VR headset before users can stream contents from the PC. In other words, PC-tethered VR experience will be available in a room.
Qualcomm’s new VR reference design will feature in other headsets
Qualcomm has designed many VR—dedicated chips, but only a few companies such as Facebook, HTC, Microsoft and Lenovo, have used those designs. Most manufacturers prefer to produce phones and other related devices, not VR headsets. According to Qualcomm, Pico Neo2 VR headset will be the first headset featuring its new VR reference design. It also disclosed that another partner developing hardware and content using the new reference design is HTC Vive.
Qualcomm will have the credit of having helped to make VR gaming a little more convenient if the headsets being developed with its new reference designs hit stores.