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Qualcomm and Microsoft augment their meta relationship

US mobile chip giant Qualcomm has gone big on the buzzwords at this year’s CES tech show, claiming its new AR collaboration with Microsoft has something to do with the metaverse.

‘Qualcomm Announces Collaboration with Microsoft to Expand and Accelerate AR to Usher in New Gateways to the Metaverse,’ heralded the press release. New gateways eh? Sounds intriguing. Both companies are ‘believers in the metaverse’, were told, thus positioning it as some kind of mystical phenomenon rather than a rebrand of the AR/VR paradigm the tech industry has been trying to get off the ground for years.

Qualcomm itself coined the term ‘XR’ (extended reality) a while back, as a way of trying to generate demand for a new family of chips designed to cater to that sort of thing. The fact that it’s now resorting to this partnership with Microsoft seems to be an indication that it thinks the whole scheme needs a boost.

“This collaboration reflects the next step in both companies’ shared commitment to XR and the metaverse,” said Hugo Swart, GM of XR at Qualcomm. “Qualcomm Technologies’ core XR strategy has always been delivering the most cutting-edge technology, purpose-built XR chipsets and enabling the ecosystem with our software platforms and hardware reference designs. We are thrilled to work with Microsoft to help expand and scale the adoption of AR hardware and software across the entire industry.”

“Our goal is to inspire and empower others to collectively work to develop the metaverse future – a future that is grounded in trust and innovation,” said Rubén Caballero, Corporate VP of Mixed Reality at Microsoft. “With services like Microsoft Mesh, we are committed to delivering the safest and most comprehensive set of capabilities to power metaverses that blend the physical and digital worlds, ultimately delivering a shared sense of presence across devices. We look forward to working with Qualcomm Technologies to help the entire ecosystem unlock the promise of the metaverse.”

All this talk of alternative realities is a bit unnerving, isn’t it? And the fact that the Microsoft gentleman felt the need to emphasis things like trust and safety only serves to strengthen that impression. Here’s Qualcomm’s CES announcement fest, with one in question starting at the 16:50 mark, followed by some videos illustrating the Microsoft vision of all this. You decide for yourself what a great idea it all is.


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