Samsung’s latest VR prototype tries on eye tracking and hand tracking, doesn’t need a phone or PC
You know that “all-in-one” VR headset Samsung has been reportedly working on behind closed doors for over a year now? Codenamed Odyssey at one point, and very recently rumored to take a massive leap in screen resolution compared to the industry’s current heavyweights, this standalone bad boy was apparently hiding in plain sight in Shanghai between June 28 and July 1 during the other Mobile World Congress.
We’re talking of course about a rough-looking prototype unlikely to enter production anytime soon. But Samsung “collaborator” Visual Camp is keen to reveal the head-mounted display will feature advanced eye-tracking technology, as well as hand tracking, voice recognition and facial expression recognition, presumably if pre-release tests go well.
So far, so good, claims the Korea-based startup focused on eye tracking and “gaze analysis” technologies, with foveated rendering helping the Exynos 3 reference platform save power and improve the efficiency of the Exynos 8890 chip while preserving its “outstanding performance” where it counts.
Just like Apple, Oculus and HTC, Samsung wants to bet big on this process that sharpens only the part of the screen being “viewed by the user’s eyes at any given time”, with reduced resolution everywhere else around you in a virtual reality universe.
And yes, apparently this Exynos VR III reference device follows in the footsteps of not one, but two earlier prototypes, packing a modified version of the Galaxy S8’s Exynos 8895 SoC with the same Mali-G71 MP20 GPU in tow but only six CPU cores instead of eight. Not enough horsepower to handle a smartphone-independent 2000 ppi OLED panel? Don’t worry, that “next-gen” Gear VR is still a work in progress, and no one knows exactly how it’s going to look and what specs it’ll offer when (if?) it actually sees daylight.