Snapdragon XR1: Qualcomm’s play for affordable standalone AR and VR

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Qualcomm has revealed its latest chipset, the Snapdragon XR1, but rather than phones it’s intended for Extended Reality headsets like AR smartglasses and untethered VR. Slotting in beneath the Snapdragon 845 as a more affordable “XR” option for device-makers, it’s part of Qualcomm’s attempt to capture entry-level standalone systems.

Right now, as the company sees it, there are four main categories for virtual and augmented reality headsets. Most affordable are those based on smartphones, like Google Daydream or Samsung Gear VR. Then you have standalone systems, spanning the more entry-level options like Oculus Go through to premium, like HTC VIVE Focus or ODG’s smartglasses. At the top end, there are tethered systems which offer maximum performance though with the demand for a connected PC.

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