In what almost felt like a “one more thing” moment, Samsung announced at Unpacked that it is developing an XR (Extended Reality) headset. The company joined forces with Qualcomm and Google to create this new device, which, so far, has no official name or confirmed release date in sight. But working on it, Samsung is, and new evidence supports the company’s mixed reality efforts.
Our colleagues at Galaxy Club just spotted a battery carrying product code EB-BI120ABY at Safety Korea. As you might recall, this isn’t the first time the “I120” model number emerged. Last year, we reported that Samsung is working on what appears to be a new AR or mixed reality headset bearing model number SM-I120. Needless to say, the EB-BI120ABY product code matches the headset’s model number.
Not the successor to the Samsung Gear VR
If anything, this battery confirms that Samsung’s new mixed-reality headset (or XR headset, if you will) is not a direct sequel to the old Gear VR. The latter required a smartphone to operate and didn’t have a battery.
The SM-I120, on the other hand, appears to be battery-powered, which would make it more like a stand-alone headset for mixed-reality applications. The battery measures roughly 45 by 45 mm, but its capacity is unknown.
Do keep in mind that, even with this battery confirmed, there’s no telling if the SM-I120 is a product that will go on sale or a prototype unit. Samsung most likely experimented with different concepts before pushing its new XR project forward, and this battery may be the component of a pre-production device.
Then again, now that Qualcomm and Google are on-board with Samsung’s vision and the XR project got confirmed on stage at Galaxy Unpacked, there’s a higher probability that the SM-I120 headset might be the real deal.
Samsung is not the only mobile manufacturer to be working on mixed-reality solutions. Its competitor, Apple, is also developing a mixed-reality headset. This looming rivalry could bring the vision of the metaverse closer to fruition.