Did Samsung revise this XR headset after Apple Vision Pro's unveiling?
The Apple Vision Pro might have upset Samsung's XR plans. A leak reveals details about Samsung's originally planned headset.
Has the surprisingly powerful Apple Vision Pro caused Samsung to delay its originally planned mixed reality headset by several months? South Korean news outlet SBS Biz reported in July, citing industry insiders, that Apple's revelation has caused Samsung to rethink its Extended Reality (XR) project. Samsung is known to be working with Google and Qualcomm on the development.
In a new report, Chinese XR outlet VRTuoluo.cn suggests less drastic changes and presents data from an originally planned prototype. According to the report, the device will feature micro OLED displays combined with a slim pancake design, inside-out tracking with two additional RGB pass-through cameras, and a battery on the back.
Samsung under pressure
An Exynos 2200 had been planned as the chip system. This high-end model with eight CPU cores for Android-based smartphones is more powerful than Qualcomm's common Snapdragon XR2, but probably weaker than the XR 2 Gen 2, which could be launched in the second half of the year (e.g. in the Quest 3). The Exynos 2200's relatively high power consumption and heat dissipation have also been a subject of criticism.
VR陀螺 published information on a Samsung XR HMD prototype that was once the basis for what they wanted to make to compete with Apple
•Micro-OLED displays/Pancake optics
•Exynos 2200 chip w/ AMD RDNA2 architecture
•Inside Out tracking with dual RGB camera… pic.twitter.com/xTFV8uiSvz
— Brad Lynch (@SadlyItsBradley) August 10, 2023
Back in June, Twitter user OreXda reported rumors about Samsung's reaction to the advanced specifications of the Apple Vision Pro. The display of Samsung's "Galaxy XR" headset was originally planned to have a pixel density of 2,000 PPI. It has reportedly been increased to 3,000 PPI (Apple Vision Pro: about 3,400 PPI).
VRTuoluo.cn assumes that the new Samsung headset will not need a controller and will be controlled by gestures and eye movements, similar to the Apple Vision Pro. An unusual detail on the prototype are the two recesses that presumably housed time-of-flight (TOF) sensors for more accurate motion measurement. Their off-center position usually has a negative effect on the algorithms used.
New middle ground for VR headsets?
In general, Samsung could rely more on algorithms with its less lavish sensor equipment to occupy a new market segment between Apple's expensive option and Meta.
Since the launch of the redesigned Samsung headset is expected to be delayed by only one to two quarters, not too much should change except for the display and UI details. In the supply chain, Samsung has a number of advantages from its smartphone production. VRTuoluo.cn stresses that the company has numerous designs for VR/AR core technologies in areas such as optics, displays, user interfaces, camera sensors, AI, and acoustics.