Samsung is developing a standalone VR headset, the company revealed today.
"We are working on wireless and dedicated VR devices, not necessarily working with our mobile phone," Samsung head of R&D Injon Rhee said Wednesday, as reported by Variety. Rhee was speaking at Samsung's developers conference.
The device Samsung is tinkering with apparently does utilize a phone, according to VR Focus, noting the Galaxy S7 maker is working to make the headset an all-in-one machine.
Though details are foggy, the headset essentially sounds like the next version of Gear VR.
In addition to being tetherless, the viewer will use positional tracking, much like we already see in the more capable HTC Vive and Oculus Rift.
Gear VR lacks such tracking, though it is untethered free from a PC, allowing for freer movement.
Samsung isn't stopping there, however: it also wants to incorporate hand and gesture tracking into the tech, further bringing it in line with VR's top dogs. However, touch controls may not be available in the near future.
Clearly paying attention to VR buzzwords, Samsung also wants to create a holodeck experience with its new VR viewer, another sign that this will be a step above the current-gen Gear VR.
Notably, Rhee said "wireless and dedicated VR devices," so perhaps Samsung has more than one standalone viewer in the works, though that's doubtful. He was likely referring to the various VR technologies Samsung is developing to bolster its new headset.
There's no timeframe for when the device will release, and Samsung isn't backing away from the current Gear VR - not by a long shot.
It's releasing its 360-degree camera this week, and plans to make it easier to upload content to its Milk VR platform.
Interestingly, Samsung built Gear VR in partnership with Oculus. Naturally, this sets up a potential shift in their relationship if Sammy goes through with what will essentially be an Oculus Rift rival.
I've asked Samsung for further details on its new VR headset, but doubt I'll hear anything of substance from the company.
- Hands on with the Huawei VR