Samsung reportedly plans to send out an AR/VR headset to developers next year.
South Korean outlet ETNews reports Samsung has already built prototypes and is testing samples for production. The idea is to give developers the hardware and SDK to build content “to create a market by creating an ecosystem rather than hastily launching products”.
Samsung has been the hardware partner for both Meta and Microsoft’s VR ambitions, but hasn’t yet taken a stab as a platform provider.
From 2014 it partnered with Facebook on the phone-based Gear VR, effectively the first widely shipped consumer VR product. But by 2019 then-CTO John Carmack declared it dead as the friction involved in slotting in your phone meant standalone headsets took over. In 2020, updates formally ceased for the platform.
In late 2017 Samsung launched Odyssey, a Windows VR headset, and a year later the successor Odyssey+. Both used the same OLED displays as the original Oculus Quest and HTC Vive Pro, with lens separation adjustment and built-in headphones. In 2020 China’s intellectual property office awarded Samsung a patent for a successor with four tracking cameras, but no product came of it.
Reports have circulated for more than four years of Samsung working on its own standalone AR/VR headset. Nothing has yet been officially announced, but with the success of Meta’s Quest line and new entrants on the horizon like Apple, could Samsung finally be ready to truly jump in?