Not so fast, Apple.
It appears as though the hybrid headset market is shaping up to be the latest trend in immersive entertainment as it’s now being reported that Samsung may be in the process of developing their own AR/VR headset similar to that of Apple’s recently announced device.
According to The Korean Times, the South Korea-based technology giant has heightened its partnership with Microsoft, presumably to bring the mysterious device to the Microsoft Mixed Reality platform, much like its predecessor, the Samsung Odyssey. However, whereas the Odyssey is a wired VR headset dependent on a VR-ready PC to operate, this new solution will be entirely standalone, wireless, and support both VR and AR experiences.
Photo of Samsung Odyssey
“Samsung Electronics is working on developing cordless and high-priced headsets supporting both VR and AR,” says a reported Samsung official while speaking with KT. “Definitely, Samsung plans to use in-house application processors, OLED displays and sensors. But more importantly, Microsoft has lowered its demand for royalties as it is taking a multi-pronged approach to delivering a rich ecosystem of games and applications that will entice users,” said a Samsung official by telephone who is involved with the issue.”
“VR was once tapped as the next hot technology,” he or she continues. “However, despite sizable investment in it, the technology failed to resonate with consumers. Now, Samsung thinks the mixed reality market is a bit more promising than VR or AR in wider usability and adaptability. As we achieved in the ‘phoneblet’ market, Samsung has stronger intent in the consumer market with the firm’s new devices supporting mixed reality technology.”
“It’s premature to say how successful Microsoft will be driving a rich ecosystem which will in turn drive its adoption to mixed reality,” spoke a second official. “But Windows MR is expected to boost the existing VR ecosystem. Because the market is extremely new, Samsung Electronics can understand how the markets go by partnering with Microsoft.”
This should put the hybrid headset in direct competition with Apple’s secretive combination AR & VR headset, which will supposedly provide dual 8K resolution displays while remaining a cordless, standalone device. The primary difference being that Apple’s model is slated for a 2020 release while, according to The Korea Times, we could be seeing a first-look at Samsung’s hybrid as soon as August at the upcoming IFA trade show in Berlin.
Image Credit: Samsung / The Korea Times