What is this? A crossover episode?
At its Unpacked flagship event earlier today, Samsung announced its new S23 series flagship devices, alongside the new Galaxy Book 3 series. What came as a surprise, though, was the fact that it’s partnering with Qualcomm and Google to develop new ‘extended reality’ products and experiences.
Samsung abbreviated extended reality as XR, and though it didn’t reveal much about the partnership and upcoming XR products, we did learn that Google is working on a new and special version of Android, specifically for AR/VR devices, with Qualcomm assisting in making chips for said products.
In an interview given to The Washington Post, TM Roh, the president and head of Samsung’s mobile experience business, said, “Many different companies … have been making these announcements about different realities…So we have also been making similar preparations, no less than any others.” Roh’s statement is clearly aimed at Meta, which is at the forefront of the AR/VR movement, and Apple, which is reported to release its AR/VR headset sometime in 2023.
Roh did not share any information about a specific AR/VR product, and we don’t know if one is already in production. “We’re getting there, but we’re not too far away,” he said. “For the chipset, it is going to be a strategic collaboration with Qualcomm. The hardware will be us,” Roh said.
Samsung last dabbled with AR/VR technology back in 2017, with the Gear VR headset, which it developed in partnership with Oculus. Since then, Samsung has shied away from developing AR/VR technology. The partnership with Qualcomm and Google makes sense, and now, since there is more demand for virtual and augmented reality gadgets, it’ll be interesting to see what the trio of companies can whip up.
For more on Samsung’s Galaxy S23 line, check out our hands-on with the new smartphones and all of our Unpacked 2023 content here.
Image credit: Samsung