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Telefónica and Qualcomm are developing a metaverse ecosystem

Metaverse VR

Operator Telefónica and chip firm Qualcomm are putting their heads together to ‘establish the groundwork that will drive the metaverse forward’… but it’s all still a bit vague.

The two firms intend to build XR (extended reality) and metaverse things using Snapdragon Spaces – which is described as an XR Developer Platform – and Telefónica will upskill its staff in XR/metaverse hardware and application development. The agreement covers an ‘exploration of joint commercial opportunities’ and the launch of products in the nascent sector – though exactly what they might be has been left unrevealed.

Telefónica tells us it sees many possibilities in combining ‘immersive devices with powerful networks and decentralized Web3 technologies’, and this agreement will apparently allow them to deliver new experiences which merge the digital and analogue worlds. By a slim measure of clarification the announcement explains this means ‘re-imagining commerce, entertainment, and communication in the Metaverse.’

“XR will bring a new dimension to the digital and real world, enabling people to communicate, do business, socialize and entertain themselves in new ways,” said Daniel Hernández, VP Devices & Consumer IoT of Telefónica. “We are preparing for this future, building the infrastructure, upskilling the teams, evolving our services and putting in place the partnerships which will enable us to bring innovative new devices and services to customers.  Qualcomm Technologies has played a critical role at each stage in development of our industry and our collaboration with Snapdragon Spaces will help to drive growth in the emerging XR ecosystem and realize the next evolution of the internet, the Metaverse”.

Dino Flore, Vice President, Technology, Qualcomm Europe added: “XR will redefine how we live, work and socialize. At a crucial time in the technology’s development and roll-out, we are excited to be partnering with Telefonica to grow the active communities developing the ecosystems of the future through Snapdragon Spaces, which we believe will unlock the power of XR and take it to the next level”.

Redefining how we live, work and socialise is quite a tall order, even for the level of hyperbole you often get with tech announcements. But such is the rhetoric surrounding all things metaversy. The level of hype the firms invested in pushing the technology forward – whether its Telefónica, Qualcomm or Facebook – try to generate is their prerogative of course, but at some point they are going to have to present something tangible, and perhaps then we can decide if it looks like it’s going to redefine all life as we know it.

Ideally that will be something a bit more substantial than a cartoon avatar of Mark Zuckerberg sat on a low-res render of a tropical landscape explaining to us how important what we’re looking at is.

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