Qualcomm and Microsoft join forces to design AR chips and drive metaverse adoption

Microsoft and Qualcomm with a handshake logo and Demon Mark Zuckerberg

At CES 2022, Qualcomm has joined forces with Microsoft in a new partnership that will see the two design custom chips that will drive augmented reality (AR) adoption in the years to come. Both the companies have touted themselves as "believers in the metaverse", with the initiative tackling both the enterprise and consumer domain.

In terms of the tangible outcome that we can expect, custom AR chips will be developed for lightweight and power-efficient glasses and there will be new bridges formed between Microsoft Mesh and Snapdragon Spaces XR Developer Platform.

Qualcomm's vice president and general manager of XR, Hugo Swart, had the following to say about the partnership:

This collaboration reflects the next step in both companies’ shared commitment to XR and the metaverse. Qualcomm Technologies’ core XR strategy has always been delivering the most cutting-edge technology, purpose-built XR chipsets and enabling the ecosystem with our software platforms and hardware reference designs. We are thrilled to work with Microsoft to help expand and scale the adoption of AR hardware and software across the entire industry.

Meanwhile, Microsoft's corporate vice president of Mixed Reality, Rubén Caballero, stated that:

Our goal is to inspire and empower others to collectively work to develop the metaverse future – a future that is grounded in trust and innovation. With services like Microsoft Mesh, we are committed to delivering the safest and most comprehensive set of capabilities to power metaverses that blend the physical and digital worlds, ultimately delivering a shared sense of presence across devices. We look forward to working with Qualcomm Technologies to help the entire ecosystem unlock the promise of the metaverse.

It's not yet clear as to when we will begin to see the fruits of this endeavor, but it seems to be a long-term strategy so expect things to materialize in a matter of months and years.

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