On September 2, 2022, Meta and Qualcomm issued a press release, announcing that they signed a deal where Qualcomm will partner with Meta for the coming few years to develop spatial computing technology related to VR and metaverse applications.
Zuckerberg stated, “We’re working with Qualcomm Technologies on customized virtual reality chipsets — powered by Snapdragon XR platforms and technology — for our future roadmap of Quest products. As we continue to build more advanced capabilities and experiences for virtual and augmented reality, it has become more important to build specialized technologies to power our future VR headsets and other devices. Unlike mobile phones, building virtual reality brings novel, multi-dimensional challenges in spatial computing, cost, and form factor. These chipsets will help us keep pushing virtual reality to its limits and deliver awesome experiences.”Qualcomm and Meta Partner to Deliver Multi-Generation Metaverse Experiences | Qualcomm
Qualcomm president and CEO Cristiano Amon described the agreement by saying, “By partnering with Meta, we are bringing together two of the world’s metaverse leaders to revolutionize the future of computing for billions of people in the coming years.” He also said, “Building off our joint leadership in XR, this agreement will allow our companies to deliver best-in-class devices and experiences to transform how we work, play, learn, create and connect in a fully realized metaverse.
This is not the first collaboration between the two technology giants; they have been working together for years; it is a Qualcomm chip that powers the Meta virtual reality headsets. Meta Quest 2 headset, for example, is powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon (XR) chipset.
In 2021, when Zuckerberg announced the rebranding of Facebook to Meta, it was clear that he was redirecting his company’s goals towards building metaverse technologies, including virtual and augmented reality technologies. Furthermore, this agreement would align with Zuckerberg’s plans to differentiate its headsets and create unique user experiences; as he stated in the announcement, “These chipsets will help us keep pushing virtual reality to its limits and deliver awesome experiences. Meta is not the only tech entity pursuing these goals, as these same goals were present in the NVIDIA presentations in August during the SIGGRAPH 2022 conference, where they announced they were introducing new features and improvements to applications that will help 3D artists build virtual worlds, digital twins, and avatars for the metaverse.
The Meta and Qualcomm announcement precedes Meta’s launch of a new virtual reality headset in October, and it confirms Zuckerberg’s intentions to contribute to the metaverse’s growth and development. Zuckerberg does not seem to be deterred by the losses of its Reality Labs. In the second quarter, Meta lost $2.81billion on $452 million in revenue from its virtual reality division, Reality Labs.
This is a substantial loss by all measures; however, if you take into consideration that Meta is a company that earned $8.36 billion in operating income on $28.82 billion in total sales during the quarter, you would conclude that however expensive Zuckerburg’s pursuit of the metaverse is, it stays affordable!