Smartphone and VR processor makers, Qualcomm, have revealed they’re setting up a new $100 million Snapdragon Metaverse Fund. The money in this fund will be used by companies and developers working in XR to develop the metaverse.
The fund was announced at the GDC, and is designed to be used for XR experiences that are immersive, along with all of the AI and AR technologies associated with this.
The investments have been made by Qualcomm Ventures and are aimed at empowering companies and developers of all sizes, to encourage them to push the boundaries of the metaverse. Interested parties can officially apply for their slice of the fund from June 2022.
Let’s take a look at what Qualcomm brings to the Metaverse table, aside from their generous $100 million investment fund, and learn more about the deals they’ve been striking up to ensure their chips become the beating heart of future tech.
Who Are Qualcomm?
Qualcomm is an American multinational corporation based in San Diego,California. Established in the mid 1980s, the company’s primary focus has been creating chips used in mobile phones. The company owns patents to various aspects of the technology that makes 4G and 5G possible. Their Snapdragon chips are used in many Android smartphones and wearable devices.
In recent years, Qualcomm has played a part in the creation of reference designs for many new technologies which have often included VR headsets, many of which feature Snapdragon XR processors. Their chips can be found in devices such as Meta Quest 2 and HTC Vive Focus 3.
The news of the Snapdragon Metaverse Fund follows fast on the tails of some of the developments for Qualcomm. Just a few weeks ago, the company announced it would be partnering with ByteDance, owners of TikTok.
The social media giants recently bought Pico Interactive, and the partnership between Qualcomm and ByteDance sees devices such as the Pico Neo 3 Pro being powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon XR2.
Qualcomm’s aim here appears to be to get their chips into as many XR headsets as possible, as Meta sparks fierce competition from other quarters in the race for metaverse dominance. TikTok’s acquisition of Pico clearly reveals their intention to not-just dominate the social media industry, but to be a true metaverse company too.
Square Enix Deal
Also due to start working with Qualcomm is Japanese games developer Square Enix. This partnership is a Snapdragon Spaces Project geared at creating mixed-reality games experiences.
Known for the popular Final Fantasy, Kingdom Hearts, and Dragon Quest franchises, Square Enix hasn’t yet revealed which of its titles will be the first to make the leap to XR.
The Snapdragon Spaces Project was launched late last year, and is heavily centered around developing content for smartphone-tethered AR glasses.
The company’s investment here implies that smartphone AR will be set for a potential growth, however, by placing their eggs in both the creation of emerging hardware and software, Qualcomm will be able to better integrate future generations of Snapdragon into metaverse technology.