Qualcomm Introduces XR Enterprise Program to Fast-Track AR Adoption
Qualcomm has this week announced its XR Enterprise Program during the just concluded Enterprise Wearable Technology Summit (EWTS) held in Dallas, TX. The purpose of the program is to bring together XR products and technologies which are based on the Qualcomm Snapdragon XR platform with the enterprise product providers to allow for collaboration, innovation, synergy and to also help in fast-tracking the adoption of augmented reality and virtual reality across various industries including aerospace, engineering, education, retail, manufacturing, architecture, insurance, transportation and manufacturing.
The Qualcomm XR Enterprise Program will also speed up the adoption of Qualcomm’s Boundless XR platform for extended reality applications. Boundless XR was launched in early 2019 and splits the processing functions between a remote PC and the chip on the AR/VR headset.
The semiconductor equipment company wants to advance augmented reality into areas where it sees the greatest promise for a broad adoption. Qualcomm hopes its mobile expertise with the Snapdragon processors will also help usher in new possibilities for headset applications.
The company is deeply invested in the smartphone market where its processors power billions of devices and it’s already looking forward to the future ‘post-smartphone’ world that will include personal form factors such as augmented reality. The company has been strongly pushing augmented reality applications.
Qualcomm is launching its XR Enterprise Program to support business applications. It is pitching this program to solution providers on the premise that optimizing XR applications for the Qualcomm processors will help with the customer upgrades and migrations as the volatile device vendor landscape and the form factors continue to evolve rapidly.
The vendor landscape is seeing a lot of dynamism with many of the top tech companies and new players slated to release new hardware in the next few years. Microsoft, too, seems inclined to continue developing its own hardware. Its decision to launch the Snapdragon-powered HoloLens was to some extent influenced by supporting early partners, a clear evidence that these collaborations create synergies that can drive the industry forward.
There is, evidently, a strong trend towards the mixed reality market. Most of the advances in the technology have occurred in the enterprise market. This is especially true in the augmented reality market which still has a nascent ecosystem with a limited range of games and apps. The AR landscape is a far cry from the virtual reality market which is already supported by a vast ecosystem to drive consumer adoption and growth.
The Qualcomm XR Enterprise Program will offer inaugural members a global community which will open up access to promotional opportunities, technical support resources, joint planning, business development, co-marketing as well as matchmaking with other members with the aim of helping drive the enterprise XR segment to boost the operational efficiencies, safety, worker satisfaction while also delivering a positive impact on the bottom line.
Its odd 15 or so founding members are active in a vast section of verticals where mixed reality is seeing most currency such as transportation, construction, healthcare, retail and manufacturing.
Participants in the program can have access to a higher level of technical support, business development and co-marketing resources. The matchmaking opportunities allow for synergies to be created within the group while also unlocking new opportunities for seeding and pilot enterprise projects.
The enterprise VR market is growing by leaps and bounds. According to Business Insider Intelligence, the global enterprise VR sales for both hardware and software are expected to hit $5.5 billion by 2023 which will be a 587% rise from 2018.
The slow enterprise adoption so far has mainly been due to the small supporting infrastructure for both virtual reality and augmented reality technology. The Qualcomm enterprise membership program is meant to address that in a small way.
Currently, the pace adoption will be affected by the high hardware costs, the limited range of developed applications as well as the network constraints resulting from latency requirements for both virtual reality and augmented reality.
The companies that have signed up for the enterprise program include XRHealth, Upskill, Pico Interactive, Accenture, Scope AR, ZerolIght, UbiMax, Nreal and STRIVR among others.