Skip to main content

Qualcomm is working on standalone wireless VR headsets that can also connect to PCs

Qualcomm is working on standalone wireless VR headsets that can also connect to PCs

Share this story

Qualcomm VR headset reference design
Adi Robertson

Qualcomm’s new VR headset will be one of the first to work as a standalone mobile headset and also connect to PCs wirelessly. The headsets will be demoed at the Game Developers Conference that’s currently going on in San Francisco, and they could arrive in stores in Asia as early as later this year, as spotted by CNET.

Most mobile VR headsets don’t let you plug into your PC for a connection to additional VR gaming libraries, but Qualcomm envisions it to be possible in its new reference design called “Boundless XR.” The new headset reference design Qualcomm has laid out will work on its own as a mobile standalone headset with six degrees of freedom which also links to PCs for PC VR gaming through a 60GHz connection. The headsets are powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 processors.

In theory, the headset could free up some PC processing power

Latency is kept at a low 16ms, according to Qualcomm’s claims. The headset is also designed to process VR technology while connected to a PC. So, in theory, it could help free up some processing power in your PC, although it isn’t clear how much.

Any PCs and consoles you decide to use the headset with will also need to support 802.11ad Wi-Fi and run Qualcomm software. The games should be able to support the new headset without any changes, Qualcomm told CNET.

Qualcomm makes a lot of VR reference designs, but only a handful of companies have taken up Qualcomm on those designs, including HTC, Lenovo, and Facebook. Many OEMs prefer to stick to making phones, tablets, and other devices. Qualcomm says the first headset with the new reference design will be a Pico Neo2 VR headset from the Chinese company Pico VR. It also says HTC Vive is another partner working to “support the new specification through hardware and content,” although since this is just a reference design, it’s possible we may never see it come to stores. If it does arrive, Qualcomm will have helped to make VR gaming just a little more convenient than before.