Samsung is working on a VR headset that will not only work without a smartphone, but will also compete against the likes of Oculus Rift and HTC Vive.
Samsung worked with Oculus to develop its first virtual reality headset, the Gear VR, but its next development could potentially pit the company against its partner. To use the Gear VR, it needs to be connected to a compatible Samsung smartphone. But the South Korean giant is working on a Samsung standalone VR headset that won’t require it to be constantly connected to a smartphone.
At Samsung’s developer conference, Injong Rhee, head of R&D, confirmed that the company was working on a standalone virtual reality headset, Variety reports. “We are working on wireless and dedicated VR devices, not necessarily working with our mobile phone,” Rhee said.
If Samsung does manage to create a wireless VR headset before the likes of HTC or Oculus, it will be a huge win for the South Korean company. But a standalone headset with positional tracking will pit it against the Rift, and it is unclear how this development will affect Samsung’s partnership with Oculus.
Virtual reality is still at a fairly nascent stage and nearly every major company is dipping its toes in this space. Samsung is however confident about the potential, and Samsung’s director of software development Andrew Dickerson was quoted as saying, “We think 2016 is shaping up to be the year of VR.”