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Qualcomm launches Snapdragon VR820, virtual reality headset design with eye-tracking tech

Qualcomm unveiled a virtual reality (VR) chipset and headset it hopes will make it a player in the fast-growing field and act as a template for manufacturers yet to bring out their own products.

Unveiled Thursday, Snapdragon VR820 is the name of Qualcomm's new platform which consists of a a chipset and a "reference design" for a wireless headset that other companies can use for their own products.

Reference designs are often made by companies like Qualcomm in order to show potential customers the capabilities of the technology and how their chipsets could be used. The wireless VR headset is in contrast to competitors' devices like the Oculus Rift, which requires being plugged into a PC. Qualcomm's headset was developed with Goertek.

"We think we are a true and compelling VR experience. It needs to be untethered, this is why we focused on head-mounted standalone devices," Anthony Murray, senior vice president and general manager of Qualcomm's internet of things (IOT) business, told CNBC in a phone interview ahead of the IFA tech conference in Berlin, where the product was unveiled.

Qualcomm is not looking to become a device manufacturer so it does not directly compete with the likes of Samsung, HTC and Facebook-owned Oculus which all have their own VR headsets. Instead...