Samsung was secretly showing off standalone VR headsets at MWC 2017


Samsung made a big deal out of the announcement of its newest high-end processor, the Exynos 8895, which is the company's answer to Qualcomm's latest Snapdragon 835. International versions of the upcoming Galaxy S8 are said to feature the chip, but it appears the company isn't content with putting it in smartphones only anymore. According to a report from PCWorld, while the public Samsung showcase was focused on its new tablets, it had a much more interesting thing to show backstage: untethered VR headsets, powered by the 8895.

Right now, virtual reality solutions come in two distinct flavors: PC and mobile. Unfortunately for consumers, both approaches require external hardware to power the actual experience, which can be quite cumbersome at times. What Samsung showed behind closed doors, however, bypassed that problem by directly equipping the headset with its latest Exynos chip. The dedicated visual processing unit of the 8895 also takes care of a few specialized tasks required for VR, which makes it more capable for such use than its competitors.

While the prototypes shown were mostly a showcase for the Exynos 8895's processing power, rather than an actual product in development, we can't discount the possibility of other manufacturers implementing the same idea in their devices using the chip. Samsung already makes its own VR headset, the Gear VR, though that requires a smartphone to actually function. Standalone VR isn't a new idea at all, but hasn't yet been implemented properly – Microsoft's HoloLens is an augmented reality headset which uses much the same approach, though AR is its own, separate tech. We certainly hope Samsung will show off its prototypes to the public soon, as they sound much more exciting than what current technologies offer.

source: PCWorld

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10 Comments

1. Settings

Posts: 2943; Member since: Jul 02, 2014

Samsung has a lot to catch up. Vive, PSVR, and Oculus are are the best VRs right now.

3. bossman

Posts: 264; Member since: Jan 27, 2016

How does Samsung need to catch up. Most VR headsets that were sold in 2016 were made by Samsung.

9. Settings

Posts: 2943; Member since: Jul 02, 2014

Most VRs were bundled with Galaxy devices. Sure they were "sold" but not by choice.

10. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

doesnt matter. just getting people into the headset and into the store to purchase things and get used to the tech is a gateway for bigger and better sales down the line. It's not like these "drop in" VR headsets like Gear or Cardboard really cost much of anything to make. They are so cheap at retail compared to true VR headsets that its an easy impulse purchase, even when not bundled with the phone. They are like $60 or less.

4. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

samsung sold more Gear VR sets last year then everyone you mentioned combined. Millions vs hundreds of thousands. The prospect of a "cheap" but useful VR solution that doesnt need to be tied to any particular platform is intriguing. You can currently get apps/games for gear VR from android and occulous. As long as they dont do something stupid and make it 'samsung only apps", then it could be the mid level entry point to VR that's missing right now.

8. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

just thinking.. if they could get 2 exynos chips working in tandem, they would have all the power of a mid-high level vibe set up inexpensively and still be untethered to a console. Pair it with good sensors and a 2-4k oled screen. Have it come in under an oculous/vibe in price.. like $400ish heres my money

5. ShadowSnypa786

Posts: 609; Member since: Jan 06, 2017

Samsung has sold more VR headsets than Vive, Oculus. They have better tech than the Samsung VR which I agree but sales wise Samsung are fine.

6. iushnt

Posts: 3139; Member since: Feb 06, 2013

Vive, PSVR and Oculus are not standalone devices. They require a PC. Different league altogether.

2. ProudGoooner

Posts: 19; Member since: Mar 18, 2015

All of the headsets mentioned above cost a ton of money as they all require an expensive terminal in addition to the expensive headset itself. Samsung have always aimed for the whole market and not only the reach individuals. After all it's about the company's marketing philosophy.

7. sissy246

Posts: 7129; Member since: Mar 04, 2015

"Samsung have always aimed for the whole market and not only the reach individuals." This is so true. They know a big part of the market can not afford flagship phones of any brand, LG knows that to and that is why they make these $100 to $300 phones. Do they need to make more then two, no

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