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Qualcomm debuts new design for a wireless, eye-tracking VR headset

Qualcomm today debuted the Snapdragon VR820, a reference design for a wireless, eye-tracking, Android-powered virtual reality headset that it expects to make available later this year.

Telecommunications company Qualcomm today debuted the Snapdragon VR820, a reference design for a wireless, eye-tracking, Android-powered virtual reality headset that it expects to make available later this year.

For VR-curious game makers, this is just one more reason to anticipate that standalone VR headsets (powered by mobile chipsets like Qualcomm's Snapdragon processors) will be on the market within the next year or so.

Qualcomm certainly seems to think so; in a press release detailing the VR820, it claims that the reference design will be available by "Q4 2016" with "the first commercial devices based on the platform expected to be available shortly thereafter."

Plus, at least one company is already developing a standalone VR headset -- the Pico Neo -- which runs Android and is powered by Snapdragon hardware, though it lacks some of the features (like eye-tracking) that are expected to be supported by the VR820.

Chip maker Intel is also working on its own standalone VR/AR (or "mixed-reality") headset, which it currently refers to as Project Alloy; Intel has previously said it plans to make the plans and APIs for Alloy open-source late next year. 

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