Samsung, Google and Qualcomm are teaming up to build a new mixed reality platform

Samsung is the latest tech giant to lean towards virtual reality and augmented reality. The smartphone maker says it will work with Google and Qualcomm on its upcoming mixed reality platform. The news was shared during Unpacked event from Samsung on Wednesday and follows reports indicating that Apple may release its first virtual reality headset this year.

Samsung has not said if any specific products are in development. It also did not provide a timeline of any upcoming mixed reality products or services.

“It’s a very declarative statement about how to do it right in trying to build the XR ecosystem,” TM Roh, president of Samsung’s mobile division, said in an interview with CNET through a translator before the event.

Mixed reality is an umbrella term used to describe technology that blends the characteristics of augmented and virtual reality. Augmented reality blends software with the real world by overlaying graphics over the user’s surroundings, similar to Google Glass. By comparison, virtual reality involves the wearer in a 360-degree virtual world, such as Meta Quest 2.

However, a new wave of virtual reality headsets is developing mixed reality via transit cameras, a technology that allows virtual reality and augmented reality technologies to merge into a single production line. Meta Quest 2 and Quest Pro Headphones can do that, as can the receiver Vive XR Elite. An apple Headphone expected It should include the same concept.

Announcement comes at a time increased interest In virtual, augmented and mixed reality. Apple is expected to release a mixed reality headset in 2023 that may cost $3,000, to me bloomberg. Sony PlayStation VR 2 And HTC Vive XR Elite Both are set to launch this month, and Google is teasing it New pair of augmented reality glasses At last year’s Google I / O conference with the aim of language translation. meta Quest 3 arrive by the end of the year.

Samsung has been relatively quiet about virtual reality aside from its Gear VR headset several iterations Between 2015 and 2017. This device is a head-mounted mount for smartphone-powered virtual reality experiences. Roh says there is a growing consumer demand for augmented and virtual reality, which is why the company chose this time to start discussing its plans. He says the company has been researching this category for a while.

“Now we think we’ve reached a certain threshold,” he said.

This collaboration makes sense because Samsung, Google and Qualcomm are already working together to develop smartphones. Samsung makes its own Galaxy phones Qualcomm supplies the processor Google operates the software’s underlying Android operating system.

Roh said that Google and Qualcomm will play similar roles in the development of the upcoming XR platform, though they may overlap in certain areas. Although Qualcomm will provide the processor, for example, Samsung may make some improvements, just as it does with the chip within the Galaxy S23 lineup.

“Every player takes the lead in every category, and then we’ll work very closely together across the different categories,” Roh said.

CNET has reached out to Qualcomm for comment on the partnership, receiving the following prepared statement: “Building on our existing collaborations with Samsung and Google, we have meaningful plans to collectively drive forward the XR experiences. With our Snapdragon XR innovations — combined with Samsung’s amazing products and Google technology — we have The foundation for making these opportunities a reality and driving the future of the spatial Internet.”

Qualcomm has been the chip supplier for every major VR and AR headset for years, and has its own initiative to lead the mobile-compatible wave. Virtual reality and augmented reality headsets over the next few years. Qualcomm is also collaborating with Microsoft on its future devices for augmented reality glasses, and with the Meta on devices of the future. It is unclear if this new collaboration will be compatible with the existing Qualcomm Snapdragon spaces Stand for headphones and phones.

Google’s Kaori Miyake, when asked for comment, added, “We’re excited to work with our partners to build a new generation of immersive computing experiences that raise the bar for what users can do with Google.”

Wear OS-like collaboration?

Two years ago, Samsung and Google Announce a collaboration On the wave of the next generation of Wear OS watches, which resulted in the advent of Galaxy Watch 4 It preceded Google pixel clock. While this Qualcomm/Google/Samsung partnership is very different, the spirit of collaboration can be quite similar.

On Wear OS, Samsung acted as a hardware partner to help improve core functionality for the next-generation Google watch platform, while Google emphasized software crossovers for Android, as well as adding Fitbit features. Creating a successful platform for next-generation mixed reality devices will likely require compatibility with existing apps and even phones to ensure the final device doesn’t feel left on an app island as Meta devices often do.

With Apple’s headset potentially weaving VR and AR compatibility into existing Mac and iOS products, the Samsung/Qualcomm collaboration could do the same for Google and Samsung mobile devices.

If this is the kind of collaboration the mixed reality partnership proposes, Google’s moves in this space remain the next big question mark.

Samsung has announced its mixed reality ambitions along with The new Galaxy S23 lineupwhich includes faster performance and longer battery life on the two smaller models and improved cameras.

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The Vive XR Elite is so small it doesn’t quite fit my eyes


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