Samsung has joined HTC and Oculus in announcing that their next mobile VR headset will feature full 6 Degrees of Freedom Inside Out tracking, meaning users will be able to walk around a room untethered with full positional tracking without needing to set up beacons.
This is similar to Microsoft’s Windows Mixed Reality system, but likely for the GearVR ecosystem, meaning mobile and running on Android. Samsung currently has more than 1000 titles running on the GearVR, with 150 supporting their controller.
Notably Samsung is also part of the Windows Mixed Reality ecosystem, with their Samsung Odyssey headset, and at the Samsung Developer Conference led by Taeyong Kim, Vice President of Samsung Electronics, they note that their new headset would marry the advantages of the GearVR headset and the Windows Mixed Reality headset, offering the best of both worlds.
Interestingly Samsung said they would develop the technology for a high-quality tracking experience with Intel, who recently abandoned their attempt to license their Windows 10-based Project Alloy technology to OEMs. This does open up the possibility that Samsung may find the easiest route to achieve their goal would be to strap a PC to your head, similar to the original Project Alloy reference design.
HTC recently disappointed by releasing their HTC Vive Focus untethered headset with only 3DOF tracking, needing external beacons for full 6DOF, while the Oculus’s Santa Cruz headset seems interminably delayed.
Samsung did not say when the headset would arrive but did say it would be their “next” one, so I assume it will be sometime in 2018. The full presentation can be seen below.