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 Fund, on Monday. 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. Applications for the Snapdragon Metaverse Fund will officially open in June.

What is the Metaverse? In general, 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 essential core technologies to the Metaverse, including 5G connectivity, artificial intelligence, and virtual/augmented reality processors and software. It has been supplying chips and software to top VR headset manufacturers for quite some time now. Expanding this technology is a key part of Qualcomm’s efforts to diversify its business beyond smartphones.

“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.

More information about the Snapdragon Metaverse Fund can be found here.