Qualcomm has set up a $100 million fund to invest in virtual and augmented reality technologies to help jump-start the metaverse.

The San Diego wireless technology company announced the initiative, called the Snapdragon Metaverse Backgrounds. It mirrors other funds Qualcomm has created over the years to advance emerging technologies where it has a footprint. One example is the $100 million Qualcomm Ventures artificial intelligence fund established in 2018.

The company plans to roll out the Snapdragon Metaverse Fund by investing in virtual and augmented reality companies through Qualcomm Ventures, its venture capital arm.

It will also establish a grant program for software developers creating virtual and augmented reality content in areas such as games, health and wellness, media, entertainment and education, as well as content targeting businesses.

In its metaverse funding announcement, Qualcomm said developer grant recipients could receive more than just cash, including “the ability to quickly access cutting-edge XR platform technology, hardware kits , a global network of investors, and co-marketing and promotion”. Opportunities.” Applications for the Snapdragon Metaverse Fund will be officially opened in June.

What is the Metaverse? In general terms, it is a virtual world where users can interact digitally as they would in the real world. Augmented and virtual reality are part of the metaverse. The most common application at the moment is gaming. But the potential uses cover a range of fields and interests.

Using virtual reality, consumers could take realistic virtual tours of homes for sale or virtually walk around hotels before booking. They could get multiple camera angles at sporting events. Augmented reality glasses could translate signs and menus as foreign travelers stroll through the city, or they could overlay instructions on the glasses for repair crews fixing equipment.

Qualcomm provides crucial core technologies for the Metaverse, including 5G connectivity, artificial intelligence, and virtual/augmented reality processors and software. It has long provided chips and software to top VR headset manufacturers.

Expanding this technology is a key part of Qualcomm’s efforts to diversify its business beyond smartphones. At January’s CES consumer electronics show in Las Vegas, Qualcomm showcased its efforts to extend mobile technologies beyond smartphones and deeper into cars.

“Through the Snapdragon Metaverse Fund, we look forward to empowering developers and businesses of all sizes to push the boundaries of what’s possible as we enter this next generation of space computing,” said the CEO. of Qualcomm, Cristiano Amon, in a press release.

Qualcomm last month shows solid financial results, driven by 5G Android smartphones, particularly in China, and the continued expansion of its wireless technologies into automotive and other non-smartphone markets. For the quarter that ended in December, Qualcomm’s revenue reached $10.7 billion, up 30% from the year-ago quarter. Adjusted earnings rose 47% to $3.69 billion, or $3.23 per share.