It’s the first day of the Game Developers Conference (GDC) 2022 with this year’s event going to have one or two metaverse mentions. The first major one comes from Qualcomm, with the company announcing the launch of its $100 million USD Snapdragon Metaverse Fund, designed to help virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) developers and businesses build for these new virtual experiences.
Qualcomm has been highly active within the XR space, having developed its Snapdragon XR1 and XR2 hardware platforms, as well as the Snapdragon Spaces XR Developer Platform, and XR Labs Europe. So it’s no surprise that the company now plans on investing up to $100m towards developing metaverse ecosystems.
It’ll provide funds to help developers build foundational technologies and content through VC investments in companies via Qualcomm Ventures alongside a grant program by Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. This program will focus more on the creation of XR experiences, ranging from gaming, health and wellness, and entertainment to education, and enterprise use cases.
“We deliver the groundbreaking platform technology and experiences that will enable both the consumer and the enterprise to build and engage in the metaverse and allow the physical and digital worlds to be connected. Qualcomm is the ticket to the metaverse,” said Cristiano Amon, president and CEO of Qualcomm Incorporated in a statement. “Through the Snapdragon Metaverse Fund, we look forward to empowering developers and companies of all sizes as they push boundaries of what’s possible as we enter into this new generation of spatial computing.”
While this is the first time Qualcomm has announced any metaverse leaning intentions, its technology is already being used to power it. Devices like the Meta Quest 2 and Vive Focus 3 use the Snapdragon XR2 chipset which has also been optimised for 5G and hand tracking, two features ideal for wireless, immersive experiences. Qualcomm also has a firm focus on AR, collaborating with Microsoft on new custom chips for consumer and enterprise devices.
Additionally, those companies that do get involved in the Snapdragon Metaverse Fund will gain the opportunity for early access to cutting-edge XR platform technology, hardware kits, and more.
The Snapdragon Metaverse Fund hasn’t arrived just yet, Qualcomm plans on officially opening applications in June. Interested developers can signup here for continued info. That’s probably not the only bit on metaverse news coming from GDC this week, for further updates keep reading gmw3.