December 16, 2016

The Virtual Reality Summit just finished up in San Diego, and there was a lot of news to be shared.

Samsung has announced the production of 2 new headsets, one called the “Samsung Gear VR 2”, an iteration of the previous “Samsung Gear VR” headset, and a new development which the company says is building upon technology developed by Magic Leap and Microsoft’s HoloLens. Though there were not very many details shared about the former of the 2 options, the company wanted to focus on its new development, which it says has much more effective business development purposes.

Samsung’s Dr. Sung-Hoon Hong explained that there are 4 types of augmented reality, with the current high-end state being level 3 (Project Tango, Hololens), the level which Samsung wants to perfect. This level allows for interacting with augmented objects in the real world, instead of just manipulating them virtually on a phone or tablet. Sung-Hoon says Samsung wants users to be able to see Pikachu in a tree, and have to physically search the tree and move the branches in order to find him.

This type of technology requires an advanced understanding of light, and Samsung says they are developing a special light field engine that will allow for hologram technology to be “really, really realistic”. The company says they have been studying prototypes developed by Magic Leap and Microsoft for quite some time now, and are using similar techniques to bring their vision to life.

Sung-Hoon says the company envisions a day where we could interact with AI in a seamless way, and gave an example where he asks an AI via hologram to purchase a gift for his wife. He wants this technology to be implemented into our devices themselves, and not stored in a server, so that we can perform tasks locally without using any data.

While the company gave essentially no details about these two new headsets, they did hype up the future quite a bit. We can hope that Samsung is able to bring at least a few of these ideas to fruition, and that we will have access to this technology in the near future.

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