China-based smartphone maker Oppo is ready to put Qualcomm's latest Snapdragon chips in its latest round of smartphones, but, like Qualcomm, Oppo is also preparing to move on to augmented reality wearables.
This month, at Qualcomm's Snapdragon Tech Summit, Oppo revealed that it will put the Snapdragon 865 and 765G chips in its next flagship mobile devices, just two days before Qualcomm announced its Snapdragon XR2 platform for AR headsets and smartglasses.
Earlier this week, at its own Oppo Inno Day in Shenzen, the Chinese smartphone maker showed off its prototype device AR Glass. In keeping with the conference's theme, termed "Create Beyond Boundaries," the headset was among a portfolio of smart devices, including smartwatches, and connected headphones that demonstrated the company's innovation in quick charging, 5G connectivity, and imaging.
"We believe the concept of connection is just the foundation, whereas the integration and convergence of things will be the future. The concept of intelligent connectivity consists of four key parts, including the convergence of technology and service, the convergence of organization, the convergence of culture and the convergence of technology, arts, and humanities," said Tony Chen, the founder and CEO of Oppo, in a statement. "Oppo has been more than just a phone maker from the outset. In fact, smartphones have simply been a gateway for Oppo to deliver a diverse portfolio of technological services. For Oppo and even the entire industry, there won't be any company solely focusing on smartphones."
Chen and company are ready to put their money where their tech ambitions are. Oppo is investing approximately $7 billion over the next three years into research and development in hardware, software, systems, and emerging technologies, including augmented reality.
A concept video showed off how Oppo expects AR to evolve in the future under this R&D budget, with AR projector-equipped smart speakers, smartphones, smartwatches, and earbuds, along with the AR Glass prototype, among the potential future offerings.
The company is already dipping its toes in the AR waters. Oppo has 17 smartphones that support ARCore, with another 12 phones in the China region, where its Oppo App has the Google Play Services for AR app, which facilitates ARCore, available for download. And the Oppo Reno will be among the Snapdragon-powered smartphones that will be capable of powering the Nreal Light Consumer Edition when it arrives next year.
But Oppo isn't the only smartphone maker ready to pivot to AR wearables. Lenovo has its own smartglasses concept in the hopper, and Vivo unveiled its AR Glass product at Mobile World Congress Shanghai.
Welcome to the party, Oppo.