Could the multinational technology conglomerate be expanding into the AR market?
According to a recently published patent application filed by Samsung, the company may be developing a foldable AR headset featuring a built-in display that automatically activates when the device is unfolded.
According to the United States Patent & Trademark Office: One or more embodiments of the present disclosure may include: a transparent member; a housing coupled to the transparent member in a rotatable manner via a hinge portion, such that the housing is foldable in a designated direction with respect to the transparent member; a projector at least partially disposed in the housing; and an optical transferring member configured to guide light emitted from the projector to the transparent member when the housing is unfolded with respect to the transparent member in an unfolded state.
Based on the image provided in the application, the AR-enabled headset would feature thicker-than-average frames in order to house the devices primary components. Similar to other AR headsets, such as the Magic Leap One Creator Edition or Microsoft HoloLens, a tiny projector mounted near the temple would project a small image onto the lenses in front of the user’s eyes. Unlike these existing devices, however, Samsung’s headset will feature a design more similar to that of a conventional pair of sunglasses. Also, instead of using a standard power button, the device would be activated by simply opening up the arms of the device.
Of course, filing a patent by no means guarantees a final product will ever see the light of day. Many companies file patents for potential technology with little to no intention of pursuing its development beyond conceptualization. Recently, Apple filed a patent for its own consumer VR/AR headset.
This week, however, rumors began circulating that the project has since been abandoned. According to reports, developers were unable to reduce the weight of the device while still keeping key features, such as 5G connectivity, intact.