President and CEO Cristiano Amon has previously called Qualcomm the ‘ticket to the metaverse’
Qualcomm has announced a $100 million-dollar metaverse fund, pledging to offer financial support in the form of investments and grants to those creating foundational technologies and content experiences for the emerging market.
At a company analyst day, Hemanth Sampath, senior director of engineering at Qualcomm, explained that the metaverse “is this ever-present spatial internet that fuses the virtual and physical worlds where everyone and everything can virtually connect and interact with one another.”
While the company did not offer any details about the breakdown of the funds, it did state that those creating extended reality (XR) experiences in areas like gaming, health, media, entertainment, education and enterprise, as well as businesses working on related AI and AR systems, are eligible.
The announcement comes after several other moves towards the metaverse future, including its Snapdragon Spaces, a head-worn AR developer kit that the company said will “enable the creation of immersive experiences that seamlessly blur the lines between our physical and digital realities.” Built on Qualcomm’s existing XR1 and XR2 5G platforms, Snapdragon Spaces incorporates spatial mapping and meshing, occlusion, plane detection, local anchors and persistence and scene understanding.
In an even more direct signal that it plans to be a big metaverse player, Qualcomm President and CEO Cristiano Amon stated at a Mobile World Congress press conference that the company is the “ticket to the metaverse.”
“We were investing in this technology when it wasn’t popular…And we’re very, very happy with the opportunity in front of us, of connection of physical and digital spaces. This opportunity is real; it’s one of the largest expansions of addressable market that we’re going to see. We believe many other ecosystems are going to embrace these technologies and bring scale,” he said.
The chipmaker will begin accepting applications for funding in June.