Qualcomm launches a startup accelerator for virtual reality hardware

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  • Qualcomm, a multibillion-dollar tech company with a team based at Catalyst Inc in Belfast, has launched a startup accelerator that is specifically geared towards supporting companies that are working on head-mounted displays for the virtual reality sector.

    “The HMD Accelerator Program is designed to increase scale and lower the barriers for manufacturers to create a cutting-edge HMD effectively and efficiently with pre-validated components while meeting required VR performance criteria,” said Cristiano Amon, executive vice president, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc.

    The HMD Accelerator Program is an industry first for the VR sector, as it focuses on accelerating the development of virtual reality hardware rather than software or VR content for the VR sector. To that end, the programme has been designed to help original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) of virtual reality hardware decrease the time it takes to create and ship new products.

    Manufacturers accepted onto the accelerator programme will have access to reference design products and will also be able choose from a pre-qualified set of components when developing their hardware. They will have the choice of either building their own HMDs from the reference design materials provided, or working with a trained, turnkey original design manufacturer ODM such as Goertek or Thundercomm.

    Startups will also have access to VR tracking software from technology leaders like Leap Motion and SMI, and the accelerator will also provide the hardware companies with pre-defined quality metrics and methods of testing, as well as a range of accessories, to help them develop and deploy mobile VR HMDs that deliver the most immersive user experiences possible.

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