At this year’s Google I/O event, Qualcomm announced its collaborative design with Google to create a standalone VR headset based on the Daydream VR platform. This design will put Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 835 chipset at the heart of the device.
Daydream was announced at last year’s Google I/O event, with only a handful of devices since that have been built ready to use it, including the likes of Google’s own Pixel devices, and ASUS’ ZenFone AR. It’s a virtual reality platform developed by Google that’s built into the Android OS (as of Android 7.1), rather than as an app with Google’s first VR platform, Google Cardboard.
The announcement in conjunction with Qualcomm regarding Daydream is that the device will be standalone, rather than require the Daydream View ‘mask’ – a fabric equivalent of Google Cardboard. This means that all the hardware will be self-contained within the enclosure as a full-featured VR experience, rather than as a bolt-on to a phone.
Qualcomm Snapdragon VR820 Reference Headset
The reference design hopes to do the same as what the original Nexus devices did for Android; show people what a real implementation can do, rather than a featured after thought. In addition to the Snapdragon 835 SoC (the same SoC that powers the Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+), WorldSense positional tracking with two front-facing cameras and Project Tango integration will also be included.
“We are thrilled to once again work with Google and offer a powerful premium Snapdragon experience for devices on the Daydream platform,” said Keith Kressin, senior vice president, product management, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. “Our companies share the same vision: to make it possible for everyone to enjoy rich and immersive VR experiences on a smartphone device or a dedicated VR head-mounted display while being fully mobile, rather than being restricted by cables or limited to predefined rooms setup for outside-in tracking.”
This standalone headset is itself based off of Qualcomm’s older reference VR headset called the Snapdragon VR820, which later became the Snapdragon 835 VR, and was provided to OEM partners as a base. This new standardised Daydream VR headset will be made available some time in the second half of this year.