Qualcomm's headset adds hand tracking and more to make mobile VR better

Plus, it's launched an accelerator program
Qualcomm reveals VR headset

Qualcomm has announced a new virtual reality headset development kit and the launch of an accelerator program, which it hopes will get manufacturers building better mobile VR.

The headset, an update to the model we saw last year, is powered by the company's new Snapdragon 835 chip and offers some interesting features, including eye tracking, foveated rendering, inside-out six degrees of freedom, and even hand tracking courtesy of Leap Motion.

When we spoke to Leap Motion last year it told us it was partnering with headset makers to bring its hand-tracking tech to VR, and now we know that Qualcomm was one of them. We recently tried out Leap Motion's mobile solution and walked away impressed, and it's something the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive don't currently offer.

Read next: Why modular VR could be the way forward

The rest of the specs on Qualcomm's headset are relatively meaty: a 2560 x 1440 AMOLED display, 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage. This is an all-in-one design, so total freedom of wires, but you won't be able to buy the reference model yourself.

To get the tech off the ground, Qualcomm has launched an accelerator program which sets out standards and gives manufacturers access to reference design products. The new reference headset will ship to manufacturers in Q2 of 2017, and hopefully we'll start seeing consumer devices by the year's end.

Qualcomm's new headset is about making mobile VR better


Shop for VR headsets on Amazon

Oculus Rift
Oculus Rift
$599.99
PlayStation VR
PlayStation VR
$571.99
HTC Vive
HTC Vive
$799
Samsung Gear VR
Samsung Gear VR
$72.00

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