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In the very near future, virtual reality headsets will increasingly ditch their cables in favor of next-generation wireless alternatives that stream low-latency, high-bandwidth visuals to their screens. Today, Pico Interactive and ZeroLight are publicly demonstrating Qualcomm’s wireless enabling technology Boundless XR, which will soon “untether” PCs using either Wi-Fi or 5G.

Similar to Intel’s WiGig solutions for HTC Vive and Oculus Rift headsets, Boundless XR for PC uses a 60GHz Wi-Fi connection to share Windows PC-generated stereoscopic content with a Snapdragon-powered VR headset. Today’s demo uses a prototype Pico headset to display ZeroLight’s Cadillac vehicle customization tool, such that a user can tweak life-sized VR versions of Cadillac vehicles while walking around them.

Though the demo relies on a local computer for rendering, the near-term goal is to shift the processing to a 5G edge computing infrastructure, effectively placing enterprise-class graphics at the network’s edge while delivering the low-latency responsiveness VR demands. Pico and Qualcomm have developed a split-rendering solution that uses a local or edge PC for heavy compute tasks, while relying on the Snapdragon chip to adjust the viewpoint for the user’s position.

“ZeroLight’s Cadillac experience is the perfect solution to showcase our latest innovations and developments that will be coming to market later this year,” said Pico design VP Ennin Huang. “Using the Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 chip and the 60-GHz access point, we have been able to push the quality of the content to a whole new level of realism.”
The companies collectively expect that moving rendering from local computers to the edge will dramatically enhance enterprise demand for large-scale XR rollouts. Once the computing is being done in the cloud, there won’t be a need for multiple large, expensive, and energy-hungry computers at a client’s site — just headsets with wireless connections. Removing cords from the equation will enable users to walk freely within whatever physical spaces businesses establish for VR or AR exploration.
To help other companies hasten the adoption of VR and AR, Qualcomm is launching an XR Enterprise Program today alongside the Pico and ZeroLight demo. Qualified members will get early insights into upcoming Qualcomm hardware and software, as well as industry insights and connections to customers. Companies interested in learning more can check out the Boundless XR solution in person at the Enterprise Wireless Technology Summit in Dallas, Texas, which is being held September 17-19 this year at the Sheraton Dallas Hotel.

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