Multinational software and microchip giant Qualcomm Incorporated has launched a $100 million Metaverse fund to back extended reality (XR), artificial intelligence (AI), and augmented reality (AR) tech companies.
Extended reality, or XR, refers to the combination of smartphones along with AR and VR technology such as headsets and glasses.
The investment project is dubbed the “SnapDragon Metaverse Fund” in reference to the firm’s Snapdragon chips that are designed for a long list of devices including smartphones, tablets, computers, smartwatches, and smartbooks.
According to a March 21 announcement, the funding will also go towards a grant program for developers building XR-focused gaming, health, wellness, media, and entertainment experiences.
“Through the Snapdragon Metaverse Fund, we look forward to empowering developers and companies of all sizes as they push the boundaries of what’s possible as we enter into this new generation of spatial computing,” said president and CEO of Qualcomm Incorporated, Cristiano Amon.
The firm stated that it is aiming to be the “ticket to the metaverse” via its 5G, AI, and XR technologies which it describes as being critical to the Metaverse. While Qualcomm’s website also indicates that it is aiming to combine a smartphone, VR headset, and AR glasses into a single XR device in the future.
“XR could replace all the other screens in your life, like that big TV in your living room. Mobile XR has the potential to become one of the world’s most ubiquitous and disruptive computing platforms—similar to the smartphone today.”
The firm also teased that recipients of the grants will gain “early access to cutting-edge XR platform technology, hardware kits, a global network of investors, and co-marketing and promotion opportunities.”
Related: Metaverse for education: How virtual reality can help schools and colleges
While crypto has stolen the limelight of late in relation to the ongoing Russian and Ukraine conflict, it appears that interest is starting to pile back into Metaverse projects.
Over the past seven days, the prices of native assets from top metaverse projects such as Decentraland and The Sandbox have gained 7% and 14% apiece.
On March 18, Cointelegraph also reported that the Bored Ape Yacht club founders Yuga Labs had raised $450 million in a seed funding round at a valuation of $4 billion, with part of the funding set to go towards the development of the Apecoin-backed Otherside metaverse project.