The arrival of the Apple Vision Pro has apparently forced a delay in the launch of Samsung‘s own XR (Extended Reality) headset: the Samsung device is now expected to launch in mid-2024 or later, after having originally been slated for February 2024.
This comes from SBS Biz (via SamMobile), and the story seems to be that seeing the Vision Pro forced Samsung executives to rethink their own device. An upgrade to the display sharpness is one of the possible reasons given for the delay.
Clearly Samsung doesn’t want to come out of the gate with a headset that’s notably inferior to Apple‘s own product, even if it’s also cheaper. The Vision Pro costs $3,499 (about £2,725 / AUS$5,230), and is expected to only be available in limited numbers for a while.
Details on exactly what the Samsung XR headset is going to offer are still thin on the ground at this stage, though it is believed to be running Google’s Android software, and powered by a Qualcomm chipset of some description.
Choose your reality
All these different versions of reality can take some time to get used to. The XR (or Extended Reality) that Samsung prefers is actually referring to all the different types of related technology that we’ve seen to date.
Augmented reality (AR) is where digital objects are overlaid on top of the real world. Then there’s virtual reality (VR), which refers to completely self-contained digital environments. Mixed reality (MR) generally means enhanced AR, where digital objects are aware of and interact with the physical world around them.
The Vision Pro is usually referred to as a mixed reality device, whereas the Meta Quest 3 is mostly concerned with virtual reality. Extended reality, or XR, is generally taken to mean a combination of AR, VR, and MR – though there’s still a lot of confusion, as tech companies tend to all use these terms in different ways.
We’ll have to wait and see what Samsung has been building and what it’s capable of, but the extra time in development should mean a better device – and a more worthy competitor to the Vision Pro when it finally does see the light of day.