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Samsung is the latest tech giant to venture into virtual and augmented reality. The smartphone maker says it will work with Google and Qualcomm on its upcoming mixed reality platform. It was shared during the news Samsung’s Unpacked event on Wednesday and follows reports suggesting that Apple may release its first virtual reality headset this year. Qualcomm CEO Cristiano Amon and Google’s SVP of Android Hiroshi Lockheimer took the stage to jointly announce the partnership.
Samsung has not indicated whether any specific products are in development. It also did not provide a timetable for any upcoming mixed reality products or services.
“This is a declarative announcement about how we’re going to get this right as we try to build more of an XR ecosystem,” TM Roh, president of Samsung’s mobile unit, told CNET in an interview through an interpreter before the event.
“Google has been investing in both experience and technology in AR and VR for a long time,” Lockheimer said on stage. “Delivering these next-generation experiences requires leading-edge hardware and software. That’s why our collaboration with Samsung and Qualcomm is so exciting.”
Mixed reality is a general term used to describe technology that combines features of augmented and virtual reality. Augmented reality blends software with the real world by overlaying graphics on top of the user’s surroundings, like Google Glass. Virtual reality, by comparison, surrounds the user in a 360-degree virtual world. Meta Quest 2.
However, a new wave of VR headsets is developing mixed reality through pass-through cameras that allow VR and AR technologies to blend into one product line. Meta’s Quest 2 and Quest Pro headphones can do this, as can the following Live XR Elite. Apple’s expected headset must incorporate the same concept.
The announcement comes at such a time growing interest in virtual, augmented and mixed reality. Apple is expected to release a mixed reality headset in 2023 that could cost $3,000. according to Bloomberg. Sony’s PlayStation VR 2 and HTC Vive XR Elite both are slated to launch this month, and Google teased a new pair of AR glasses focused on language translation at Google I/O last year. enter Question 3 coming by the end of the year.
Samsung has been relatively quiet on the subject of virtual reality, aside from its Gear VR headset several iterations Between 2015 and 2017. Roh says there has been more demand from consumers for augmented and virtual reality, so the company chose this time to start discussing its plans. He says the company has been exploring the category for some time.
“And now we believe we’ve reached a certain threshold,” he said.
The collaboration makes sense since Samsung, Google and Qualcomm already work together to make smartphones. And Samsung builds the hardware of its Galaxy phones Qualcomm provides the processor and runs the Android operating system that underlies Google software.
Roh said that Google and Qualcomm will play a similar role in the development of this upcoming XR platform, although they will overlap in certain areas. Although Qualcomm provides the processor, it can make some optimizations, like for example for the chip in the Samsung Galaxy S23 series.
“Each player leads in each category, and then we will work very closely between the different categories,” Roh said.
CNET reached out to Qualcomm for comment on the partnership and received the following prepared statement: “Building on our existing collaborations with Samsung and Google, we have meaningful plans to collectively advance XR experiences. With our Snapdragon XR innovations — amazing products with Samsung and Google technology — – we have the foundation to make these opportunities a reality and drive the future of the spatial internet.”
Qualcomm has been the chip supplier of nearly every major VR and AR headset for years, and it has its own initiative to make a decent wave for the phone. VR and AR headsets over the next few years. Qualcomm is also collaborating with Microsoft on its upcoming AR glasses hardware and with the Meta future devices. It is unclear whether this new partnership will be compatible with Qualcomm’s existing partnership Snapdragon Spaces platform for headphones and phones.
Asked for comment, Google’s Kaori Miyake added: “We’re excited to work with our partners to create the next generation of immersive computing experiences that will elevate what users can do with Google.”
A similar partnership with Wear OS?
Two years ago, Samsung and Google announced cooperation In the next generation wave of Wear OS watches, ultimately Galaxy Watch 4 and before Google Pixel Watch. While this Qualcomm/Google/Samsung partnership is quite different, the spirit of the collaboration may be very similar.
On Wear OS, Samsung served as a hardware partner to help improve key features of Google’s next-generation watch platform, while Google emphasized software crossovers to Android, as well as adding Fitbit features. Creating a successful next-generation mixed reality hardware platform will likely require compatibility with existing apps and even phones to ensure that Meta’s hardware doesn’t end up in the software island of the end device, as it often does.
As Apple headsets will weave VR and AR compatibility into existing Mac and iOS products, Samsung’s Google/Qualcomm partnership could do the same for Google and Samsung mobile hardware.
If this is the kind of collaboration this mixed reality partnership suggests, Google’s actions in this space remain the next big question mark.
Samsung has announced its mixed reality ambitions The new Galaxy Book and Galaxy S23 smartphone set. Including the new series standard, Plus and Ultra versionoffers a set of enhancements and now available for pre-order.
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