Samsung & Microsoft Expand Mixed Reality Tech Alliance

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Samsung is reportedly building a new wireless headset for both virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) as part of its expanded partnership with Microsoft. The South Korean tech giant is already offering a headset that supports Microsoft’s Windows Mixed Reality platform called Samsung Odyssey, which went on sale last November following the release of the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update a month prior. It’s worth noting that the update introduced Microsoft’s new Mixed Reality platform and the hardware associated with it, with Samsung’s Odyssey headset being one of the mixed reality headsets confirmed by Microsoft to support the ecosystem.

It should be pointed out, however, that Samsung Odyssey is not a standalone headset but rather one dedicated specifically to Microsoft’s Windows Mixed Reality platform. The headset was announced in October with a USB 3.0 Interface Bound Cable which is 4 meters long meant to allow users to connect the helmet to a Windows PC. The planned mixed reality headset, however, will do away with the cord and will use in-house application processors, OLED panels, and sensors, with Microsoft slashing the royalty fees for the Windows Mixed Reality platform, according to a Samsung official interviewed by The Korea Times. According to the publication, citing another Samsung executive, the partnership also requires Microsoft to use Samsung’s processors for Windows Mixed Reality and Windows Mixed Reality Ultra in exchange for the South Korean company’s extended support for Microsoft’s new products and services.

There’s no word, however, on what hardware specs the cordless mixed reality headset will pack and whether it will resemble the Samsung Odyssey in some way. As a quick recap, the headset sports two 3.5-inch AMOLED displays, with each display featuring a resolution of 1600 x 1400 pixels at 90/60Hz. The displays also provide users a 110-degree field of view for a more immersive experience. With a price tag of $499, Samsung Odyssey is not on the cheaper side of things, and the same can be expected of the upcoming cordless headset that Samsung is supposedly working on. At present, however, the Windows Mixed Reality platform does not offer a huge base of apps and games as it was only launched a few months ago, so it might take quite a while before the ecosystem and other hardware associated with it can significantly take off.