Samsung is working on a roadmap of mixed reality devices

  • Patrick Chomet, an executive vice president at the company, told CNBC that Samsung is working on a roadmap for so-called mixed reality products.
  • Tech giants view mixed reality as the next big shift in computing just as the smartphone was, and thus companies from Meta to Microsoft are investing in it.
  • This year Samsung partnered with Qualcomm and Google to develop mixed reality.
  • The focus on the technology comes as reports indicate that Apple is preparing to launch a mixed reality headset in the spring.

Samsung is working out a roadmap for its mixed reality products, according to a senior executive. But Samsung has experimented with virtualization technologies before. In 2015, the company launched a virtual reality headset called the Gear VR (pictured). It was eventually discontinued. Samsung is now looking for a new direction in mixed reality, an area that the tech giants believe could represent a major shift in computing.

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Barcelona, ​​Spain — Samsung is working out a roadmap for so-called mixed reality products, a senior executive at the South Korean tech giant told CNBC, as it looks to get into devices that many electronics makers see as key to future growth.

Mixed reality has been touted as the next big shift in computing just as the smartphone was, and thus companies from Meta to Microsoft are investing in it.

Mixed reality refers to technologies that blend the virtual and physical worlds. This may include augmented reality where virtual images or videos are superimposed over the real world. Mixed reality apps and experiences can be accessed through the headset the user is wearing.

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Patrick Chomet, executive vice president of Samsung Electronics, told CNBC in an interview that the company is “working on” a roadmap for mixed reality products. He declined to give details of when such a product would be launched.

Chaumet, who was speaking to CNBC at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, ​​Spain, highlighted Samsung’s partnership with Alphabet’s Google and US giant Qualcomm, which was announced in February. The three companies provided very few details about what the partnership entails but said they will focus on mixed reality.

Qualcomm sells a series of chips called the Snapdragon XR that are specifically designed for mixed reality products, such as headsets. Samsung has years of hardware design experience. While Google’s strength lies in its Android operating system and the developers who make apps for it.

Chomet said the partnership is not only about the three companies, but also designed to grow the mixed reality market.

“The reason for our announcement is that it goes beyond just Qualcomm and Google and Samsung, we want to set up the whole ecosystem. There will be many, many developers, content companies and app companies that will bring innovation and experiences to this ecosystem,” Chomet said.

“Yes, we can do the hardware. Yes, Qualcomm can do the chipsets. Yes, Google can make the operating system.” [operating system]. But in the end, we need more than that, to create a vibrant ecosystem.”

Samsung is no stranger to these virtual experiences. The company launched its first virtual reality headset in 2015 called the Gear VR. At the time it was built by Oculus, Facebook owned it. Samsung discontinued the Gear VR in 2020 as the device massively failed to take off.

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At the time, the product required a smartphone to be inserted into the headset. But electronics makers are moving away from this model and moving towards wireless headphones.

Samsung’s Chomet said that while VR is good for gaming, “we think there’s more potential in some mixed reality… so we’re going to develop a roadmap in that direction.”

A kind of “smart glasses will fit in beautifully” in Samsung’s range of devices from smartphones to watches, said Liu Jibei, an analyst at CCS Insight.

“Besides its smartphones, it already has wearable devices such as the Galaxy Watch and Galaxy Buds. All of these devices will be optimized to work together to deliver the best possible user experience, strengthening the connectivity of the ecosystem that many major tech companies are focused on today,” said Jebe.

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