The Virtual Reality Summit took place yesterday in San Diego, where Samsung Electronics’ Vice President Dr. Sung-Hoon Hong went up on the stage to discuss the company’s plans regarding virtual and augmented reality technologies. On short, Samsung intends to release two new virtual reality headsets in the foreseeable future, with the Samsung Gear VR 2 being pegged for an official presentation “in a short time”.
Although Samsung has been experimenting with virtual reality technology for the past couple of years, it appears that the company is also equally (or even more so) interested in augmented reality technologies. According to Dr. Sung-Hoon Hong “AR has much better business development for Samsung. That’s what we are aiming for.” The VP revealed that Samsung is currently working on two VR engines, and that the Samsung Gear VR 2 might be ready for prime time in the near future. Samsung further discussed the concept of Augmented Reality and explained how there are four levels of VR and AR technology (image below), and further added that Samsung intends to push its products to level three. This technology permits users to interact with VT objects in real world environments, akin to how Pokemon can spawn in the player’s environment in Pokemon GO through the AR option. It’s also very interesting to note that, in order to push augmented reality technology further, Samsung Electronics also looked closely at Microsoft’s HoloLens and Magic Leap’s prototypes. In fact, the Vice President even added that “there is a possibility to partner” with Magic Leap.
Interestingly enough, Samsung’s vision for augmented reality products also encapsulates a powerful AI (artificial intelligence), and sure enough, the company is working on its own personal assistant for smartphones, similar to Google’s own AI and Apple’s Siri. As for why Samsung wouldn’t use Google’s existing AI, the reason for this is because the latest advancements in AI for Google Now are available exclusively on the company’s Pixel smartphones. This means that any Android OEM wanting to have a personal voice-activated assistant on their phone has to develop its own. Needless to say, Samsung is already on top of this and seems to want and integrate the technology with future AR and VR headsets.