Samsung, like Apple, reportedly has a wireless AR/VR headset

Not to be outdone.

Sean Hollister Senior Editor / Reviews
When his parents denied him a Super NES, he got mad. When they traded a prize Sega Genesis for a 2400 baud modem, he got even. Years of Internet shareware, eBay'd possessions and video game testing jobs after that, he joined Engadget. He helped found The Verge, and later served as Gizmodo's reviews editor. When he's not madly testing laptops, apps, virtual reality experiences, and whatever new gadget will supposedly change the world, he likes to kick back with some games, a good Nerf blaster, and a bottle of Tejava.
Sean Hollister
2 min read

This is not Samsung's new wireless headset. It's the Samsung Odyssey, an existing wired one.


Two weeks ago, CNET revealed that Apple is working on a standalone wireless headset capable of both augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR), using Apple's very own chips -- so no need to plug into a traditional PC or phone.

Well, it looks like Samsung may have a similar idea brewing in its labs: The Korea Times reports that Apple's rival also has "a powerful cordless headset that supports both augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR)," one that would also use Samsung's own processors and OLED screens. 

(Samsung has a near-monopoly on phone and headset-size OLED panels -- even Apple uses the screens in its premium iPhone X .)

One key difference between Samsung and Apple's projects? Samsung isn't necessarily working on this headset all by itself. The Times says it's working with Microsoft, presumably to bring the headset to the company's Windows Mixed Reality platform, mentioned several times in the story.

That would be slightly unusual, considering all of the first-gen Windows Mixed reality headsets, including the Samsung Odyssey, were wired devices you'd have to plug into a laptop or a powerful gaming PC. Still, a wireless headset might be aligned with Microsoft's goal. After all, Microsoft's original HoloLens was a totally cordless headset that merged AR and VR, and the Windows Mixed Reality platform was an offshoot of that vision.

Another difference: We'd heard the Apple headset is slated for 2020, a couple years out. According to The Korea Times, Samsung plans to show off its new headset at the IFA tradeshow in Berlin this August. 

Samsung previously told CNET it was working on a standalone headset in March 2017. In 2016, the company said a Star Trek-like holodeck was its eventual goal.

Samsung and Microsoft didn't immediately respond to requests for comment.