Technology 3 min read

Qualcomm Steps up for HTC Vive XR Mobile Devices

AR and VR are so 2018. The new trending term to describe mixed reality technology is "XR" or extended reality. Qualcomm pairs with HTC Vive mobile devices to deliver XR experiences, as well as for XR standalone devices.

In a major boost for XR devices, both HTC and Qualcomm are pushing to make it the next chapter in new reality devices. ¦ Shutterstock

In a major boost for XR devices, both HTC and Qualcomm are pushing to make it the next chapter in new reality devices. ¦ Shutterstock

HTC announced new entries in a new line of their virtual reality headsets last year. This included the Focus, Wave, and Sync, but, similarly to the HoloLens 2, HTC wants to focus on enterprise users.

And the Vive has only ever focused on virtual reality and not augmented reality.

This differs from the Magic Leap One Creator Edition goggles immensely. These augment your reality in the same way the Pokémon Go app does. Well, maybe in a bit more of an advanced way. But AR and VR remain decidedly different technologies with totally different uses.

Of course, this latest pairing between Qualcomm and HTC focuses on something called “XR”.

image of a graphic showing a venn diagram of AR, VR, and MR with XR in the middle for article Qualcomm Steps up for HTC Vive XR Mobile Devices
Extended Reality (XR) features elements of both AR and VR, as well as mixed reality. | Sam Solutions

What is XR or Extended Reality?

We all know that virtual reality replaces your current reality with something new. Augmented reality, in contrast, merely changes your current reality using overlays and interactive variables. XR, a.k.a. extended reality, includes elements of both AR and VR.

The company HumanEyes stands out as one of the few companies gaining traction in the area.

They announced their VR camera known as the Vuze XR at CES 2019. You can film, edit, and then share media with 3D 180 or 2D 360 field of view. It also features 5.7K resolution video at 30 fps. More importantly, you can view Vuze XR content directly on popular VR headsets.

So it isn’t such a big surprise that the big name companies want to capitalize on this new trend.

Qualcomm themselves lauded XR as the “third pillar of entertainment”, focusing on accessories such as glasses, viewers, and other wearables. You can see on their extended reality page that Qualcomm really sees XR as a more casual way to introduce AR and VR into everyday life.

So how does the latest HTC mobile platform figure in?

image of a person using the Qualcomm XR headset for article Qualcomm Steps up for HTC Vive XR Mobile Devices
Dean Takahashi demonstrates how to use the Qualcomm XR headset. | Macey Davis, Qualcomm

How Will HTC and Qualcomm Work Together?

HTC announced that every item in their Vive division will now use Qualcomm technology for XR purposes. This relates to any 5G smartphone or standalone devices with virtual reality platforms.

Both manufacturers hope that this will lead to more affordable and accessible headsets.

HTC plans to create extended reality solutions for smartphone sellers in order to access the Viveport XR app store. Then, these headsets can simply connect via USB-C for lighter headsets or even glasses. These devices can still use controllers, as well.

Vice President of Product and Strategy at HTC Vive, Raymond Pao, commented on the project:

“Benefiting both device manufacturers and developers, this joint effort with Qualcomm Technologies serves to rapidly accelerate new VR headsets across the world and distribution points for developers through Viveport.”

We shall see how the two companies proceed toward their goal of affordable XR technology.

Read More: Varjo VR Headset FOV Falls Short of Hardware Promises

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Juliet Childers

Content Specialist and EDGY OG with a (mostly) healthy obsession with video games. She covers Industry buzz including VR/AR, content marketing, cybersecurity, AI, and many more.

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    Derrick Vanwyk April 11 at 8:34 am GMT

    Great! They will work together to disrupt our everyday tasks 😁

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