Qualcomm joins the Metaverse race with six new labs in Europe

The US mobile chip giant announced the opening of Extended Reality (XR) Labs in Europe--as an entry to the metaverse.
16 February 2022

Qualcomm joins the Metaverse race with six new labs in Europe. (Photo by Ethan Miller / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP)

  • The new labs in Europe are to make XR available to the people and will be situated across six cities in Europe, primarily to expand more in the upcoming years.
  • Investment in XR technology in Europe will act as an entry to the metaverse for Qualcomm.
  • Qualcomm also wants to make innovative technology available for developers through the Snapdragon Spaces XR developer platform.

After grabbing headlines for the most part of last year, the metaverse is expected to garner more attention this year as an increasing number of companies across diverse industries are digging deep to understand the virtual world. The most recent being US chip giant Qualcomm Technologies with the opening of its six new Extended Reality (XR) labs across Europe to further reinforce its role as the ticket to the metaverse.

For starters, Europe already has a thriving augmented and virtual reality (AR/VR) community–so Qualcomm, with the six new labs across six different cities in the regions, is committed to making XR the future of mobile computing. For Qualcomm, to bring XR to the masses, many breakthrough technologies are required in tandem with industry-leading talent. 

“The XR labs allow for the growth in all these areas to deliver breakthrough immersive experiences that will inspire the future of XR,” according to the company’s statement. Qualcomm also said the XR Labs will focus on XR R&D, engineering and key technology development areas such as advanced hand tracking and gesture control, 3D Mapping and SLAM/Localization services, multi-user experiences, and image recognition.

“The new labs in Europe build on Qualcomm Technologies’ commitment to make XR accessible to the masses and will be located across six cities in Europe initially, with the intention to add more in the future,” Qualcomm noted. Ultimately, the goal is to help design “lightweight, sleek headworn glasses”.

The chip giant also wants to make innovative technology available for developers through the Snapdragon Spaces XR Developer Platform– “to build experiences that will transform everyday consumer, retail, industrial, enterprise, education and healthcare,” the company said. Above all, Qualcomm Technologies’ XR ecosystem strategy is to help lead the XR revolution with optimized hardware powered by Snapdragon™ platforms, software, frameworks, tools, and broad OS support. 

Qualcomm Europe’s senior VP and president Enrico Salvatori believes the opportunities for XR are significant. “Combine that with Europe’s rich R&D and leadership in XR and we see the XR labs in Europe as being a big contributor to XR development worldwide. Brilliant minds are already working at speed to realize our vision of XR and bring a plethora of revolutionary experiences to everyone from consumers, healthcare and industry,” he said, adding that the new labs join Qualcomm’s already significant R&D presence in Europe.

For Qualcomm TechnologiesVP & GM of XR Hugo Swart,  bringing XR to life for consumers and the enterprise is their mission and they are strengthening that commitment with the XR Labs in Europe. “These labs will be the key to building out our XR portfolio which encompasses best-in-class platforms, software and innovative technology features and to make it available to all developers helping to build out the metaverse through Snapdragon Spaces. We cannot wait for everyone to see what is next,” he noted.