This week, Dr. Sung-Hoon Hong, Vice President of Samsung Electronics, announced at the Virtual Reality Summit in San Diego that not only does Samsung have a new virtual reality headset coming, but that Samsung intends to enter the field of augmented reality, too. In fact, Hong talked very little about virtual reality and instead spoke at length about Samsung's move into augmented reality.
AR has much better business development for Samsung. That's what we are aiming for.
In light of all the trouble Samsung has had in recent months, first with the Note7 explosions, the recall, and then with the controversial disabling of the remaining Note7 phones, this seems like a smart strategic move on Samsung's part to have some positive news and move into next reality technology.
It is tough to speculate whether Samsung's move into AR could be building on their current VR strategy, where they would come out with something similar the Occipital's Bridge, or if this will be a new device altogether without a tethered phone. Either direction seems a possibility. Though, during the event, Dr. Hong said, "My team is developing a light field engine. Samsung's hologram technology is really, really realistic. It looks really touchable." This does seem to indicate a leaning toward building something new.
Samsung seems energized and ready to jump into this space head first. They are looking to the devices that are out there like the HoloLens, and the prototypes of Magic Leap, for inspiration and possibly a collaboration. "There is a possibility to partner there," Dr. Hong said, referring to Magic Leap. Apparently, he is also calling out to other hardware and software developers in the space to jump on board:
We really want your help. If there are any good ideas to make AR glasses, we want to talk to you.
We have been seeing a massive spike in hardware announcements in the last few weeks. What do you think Samsung will end up bringing to market? Do they have what it takes to compete?