Samsung Developing New Gear VR Headset And AR Rival For HoloLens

For those looking for a relatively inexpensive way to step into virtual reality (VR) technology with their Samsung smartphone, the $99 Gear VR is pretty safe buy. A new report confirms that Samsung is not only working on the successor to the Gear VR, but also a new augmented reality (AR) headset that will go toe-to-toe with Microsoft HoloLens.

According to the Wearable Zone, the next generation Gear VR “will be presented in a short time,” perhaps as early as the Mobile World Congress, which will take place in February 2017. Samsung last refreshed the Gear VR back in August with the launch of the Galaxy Note 7, but was pretty much overshadowed due to that smartphone’s fiery reception.

samsung gear vr
Samsung Gear VR

However, the big news is surrounding what’s being dubbed as Gear VR 3. This headset will take advantage of AR technology that uses Samsung’s light field engine. According to Samsung Electronic VP Dr. Sung-Hoon Hong, the Gear VR 3 features “hologram technology [that] is really, really realistic. It looks really touchable.”

Interestingly enough, Samsung appears to be willing to work with other companies on its AR headset and the name Magic Leap even creeped into the discussion. If you recall, Magic Leap was recently in the news over concerns that it misled the enthusiast community with its AR demos. For its part, Magic Leap CEO Rony Abovitz has contended that “Grump mouse tech bloggers” will be in for a real treat when its technology finally hits the retail market.

Microsoft HoloLens

At this point, Samsung will be aiming its AR headset at business users, as that presents a more successful business case for the company. After all, rival AR products like Microsoft’s HoloLens cost around $3,000, which is well out of the affordability range for the average consumer. Whatever the case, Samsung looks interested in forging its own path forward with respects to virtual reality, augmented reality and mixed reality.