Samsung's standalone VR headset prototype shows big changes are ahead

(Image credit: Samsung)

For those who want more from their Samsung Gear VR, listen up. The tech giant looks to be developing a new standalone virtual reality headset with some exceptionally high-tech features.

MSIP, a major Korean government agency, announced today that Samsung is working on an all-in-one, head-mounted VR display using tracking technology from a member company called Visual Camp.

The headset, labeled 'Exynos VR III' in photos (a reference to Samsung's line of Exynos processors) is supposedly capable of not just tracking eye and hand movement, but also voice and expression recognition.

According to the press release, the headset's eye-tracking is critical for "foveated rendering," a process where the display focuses graphics only in the area where the user is looking. This makes for a smoother VR experience, and fewer fried circuits from fully rendering 360 degrees of texture.

Standalone complex

This isn't the first time we've heard Samsung is working on a standalone VR headset, though it's too early to tell if the Exynos VR III will become this exact headset.

Samsung confirmed this spring that at least one of its all-in-one headsets will rival the HTC Vive. A concept for this headset was believed to be shown off behind closed doors at this year's Mobile World Congress and powered by a new 10nm Exynos 9 mobile chip, though this also hasn't been verified.

Going off the name alone (what became of the Exynos VR I and II?) we imagine Samsung's standalone headset is still a ways from an official debut. 

However, as competitors like HTC announce VR headsets that won't need a tethered phone or PC are on the way this year, we can't imagine Samsung will be too far behind with a standalone of its own. Perhaps we'll see it unveiled at IFA 2017 in September? Just a thought.

Parker Wilhelm
Parker Wilhelm is a freelance writer for TechRadar. He likes to tinker in Photoshop and talk people's ears off about Persona 4.