Qualcomm right now revealed a brand new ‘VRDK’ standalone reference headset based mostly on their Snapdragon 845 chip. The reference design—which serves as a blueprint for Qualcomm clients who could need to construct their very own VR headsets based mostly on the design—boasts a formidable set of specs.

Qualcomm’s prior 835 VDRK is the seed from which most of right now’s main standalone VR headsets have been born, together with the Vive Focus, Mirage Solo, and Pico Neo. The new 845 VRDK, which at its core is predicated on Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 845 chip, is prone to spawn a future batch of standalone VR headsets with improved efficiency and capabilities.

Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 845 ‘System on a chip’ combines specialised compute capabilities right into a single chip | Image courtesy Qualcomm

Companies constructing headsets based mostly on the 845 VRDK could make adjustments to the reference design earlier than creating their very own product, however the VDRK basically represents one of the best of what Qualcomm can supply to these corporations, and their newest headset is kind of spectacular on paper.

In addition to a claimed 30% improve in graphics efficiency & energy effectivity, and twice as a lot show throughput in comparison with the 835 VDRK, the brand new 845 VRDK affords eye-tracking and Qualcomm’s personal ‘Adreno Foveation’ resolution, which renders in excessive decision on the middle of your imaginative and prescient the place you’ll be able to see in excessive element, whereas lowering the element exterior of that area, thus dedicating extra of the headset’s rendering assets to the place they’re most wanted.

Eye-tracking and foveated rendering options throughout the VR panorama have been within the works for a number of years, nevertheless it’s proved a difficult nut to crack. Though promising progress has been made, to date we haven’t seen any consumer-available VR headsets with inbuilt eye-tracking. We’ll have an interest to see if Qualcomm has managed to tug it off.

Beyond eye-tracking and efficiency & energy enhancements, Qualcomm claims the 845 VRDK is able to pushing some spectacular resolutions, as much as 2,000 × 2,000 pixels per eye, at, According to Android Authority, 120Hz. That’s the rendering potential, although it isn’t clear precisely what decision of show (or shows) are current within the 845 VDRK; we’ve reached out to Qualcomm for affirmation.

The present top-of-the-line shows utilized in shopper VR headsets, like Samsung’s Odyssey, high out at 1,600 × 1,440 per eye, so it isn’t clear if an applicable 2,000 × 2,000 show but exists to make the most of that horsepower, however presumably the 845 VDRK is prepared and ready (and within the meantime, hopefully utilizing any GPU overhead for supersampling).

Image courtesy Qualcomm

Like earlier variations of the VDRK, the brand new mannequin makes use of a pair of on-board cameras for inside-out positional monitoring, which means you don’t want exterior sensors for the headset to have the ability to monitor your motion by house. New for the 845 although seems to be the addition of SLAM—Simultaneous Location And Mapping—which Qualcomm says “maps and detects obstacles within the consumer’s bodily [world],” and permits for “integration real-world objects into the digital world.”

Expect to see new standalone VR headsets introduced later this yr that are based mostly on the 845 VRDK.

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