Samsung had a brief announcement at Unpacked and confirmed that it is working on an Extended Reality (XR) experience in collaboration with Google and Qualcomm. We now have more details on how this upcoming head-mounted device, which should feature model number SM-I120, will work once it goes on sale.
Last month, Samsung didn’t reveal exactly how its XR headset will work. But the recent “Galaxy Glasses” trademark application may have led some people to believe that Samsung’s product will be similar to the Google Glass project or Microsoft Hololens. However, our colleagues at GalaxyClub have it on good authority that the Samsung XR headset will work more similarly to the Meta Quest Pro than the Google Glass or Hololens.
More specifically, Samsung’s XR headset, or Mixed Reality headset if you will, doesn’t project images on a transparent piece of glass. It’s a fully-enclosed VR headset with displays and external cameras for video passthrough of the real world. It can do virtual reality and render augmented reality objects into the video representation of the real world brought to the screens by cameras mounted on the headset’s exterior. But there’s no analog “window” to the outside world.
When could Samsung release its XR/MR headset?
So then, the Samsung XR headset isn’t like the Google Glass or Microsoft Hololens but more like the Meta Quest Pro. And, of course, it’s not like Samsung’s old Gear VR, which relied on a smartphone and used the mobile device’s screen to render images behind the headset’s lenses. It’s a VR device with AR powered by video passthrough. Furthermore, it might be a stand-alone headset, meaning it works off of its own battery and can be used independently of other devices. Or at least one of Samsung’s early prototypes does. But when could Samsung release it?
There’s no official launch date for the XR device, but Samsung already teased it at the February Unpacked event and might release it at its next launch event in August-September alongside the Galaxy Z Flip 5 and Galaxy Z Fold 5. Or, at the very least, it’s probably safe to assume that Samsung will tease its XR/MR headset again at the next Unpacked and/or reveal more about its capabilities.
In any case, if the Samsung Galaxy Glasses won’t be compatible with Meta’s platform but instead hit the shelves as a competitor to the Quest Pro — rather than an alternative hardware solution for the same software — it will be interesting to see if Samsung has developed its own VR and AR apps. The mixed reality app ecosystem is vital to an XR headset’s survival, and Meta already seems to have a considerable head start.