The Augmented World Expo (AWE 2020) is happening in the United States right now. No, it’s not a live event. It’s online-only so don’t say the organizers aren’t following the protocols. Qualcomm Technologies has joined the online festivities and proudly announced some good news. As a subsidiary of Qualcomm Incorporated, it has recently partnered with major global operators, mobile OEMs, and XR viewer makers. The move is to bring enterprises and consumers more models of XR viewers by the year 2021.

The XR viewer is not exactly a device category. It’s mainly a combination of AR and VR that may be  applied in different devices. It just needs to be standardized and so global operators have ventured together to share plans in commercializing the technology further. The XR viewer isn’t your ordinary AR or VR viewer. It can be tethered to 5G for a faster and more immersive experience.

The fifteen global operators joining this effort include China Telecom, China Mobile, China Unicom, Deutsche Telekom, EE, KT, LG Uplus, KDDI, Orange, SoftBank, Verizon, Vodafone, Telefonica, and NTT DOCOMO. These brands agree an XR viewer may be powered by either the Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 or 865 mobile processor. It connects to a smartphone via a USB-C cable or 5G. It can deliver immersive AR and VR experiences that are next-level. Imagine holographic telepresence for a different way to communicate and consume content.

An XR viewer allows virtual collaboration. With a more standardized system and technology, a more seamless experience can be promised to the users. The Qualcomm XR Optimized Certification Program offers certifications for both the XR viewer and smartphone. The goal is to certify devices by looking at the following:

• Display calibration validation on the viewer
• Interoperability between the viewer and smartphone
• Motion to photon latency validation on the viewer and smartphone
• Power and thermal test on the viewer and smartphone
• Six Degrees of Freedom (6DoF) headtracking performance on the viewer and smartphone

We can expect different XR viewers next year as more brands are going through certification such as Nreal, iQIYI, 3Glasses, Panasonic, OPPO, Shadow Creator, and Pico. We will soon see XR viewers and smartphones bearing the Qualcomm XR Optimized badge.