Google I/O 2024 conference to showcase Samsung XR headset


Google I/O

Google has confirmed that it will make “AR announcements” at its I/O conference on May 14, 2024. This has led to speculation that the company may reveal more details about the Android XR platform it’s working on for Samsung’s upcoming XR headset. Samsung officially announced its XR headset project in early 2023, with Google handling the system software via a new variant of Android and Qualcomm providing the chipset. In other words, Google may reveal some of the features of Samsung’s XR headset at the Google I/O 2024 conference.

Snapdragon XR2 Gen 2

Qualcomm’s Snapdragon XR2+ Gen 2 Chipset

Qualcomm has confirmed that the chipset used in Samsung’s XR headset will be the Snapdragon XR2+ Gen 2, which is a higher-end variant of the base XR2 Gen 2 used in Meta Quest 3. This chipset is expected to clock slightly faster than the chipset in the Quest 3.

The Snapdragon XR2+ Gen 2 is a more premium option for higher-priced XR headsets, offering a 15% higher GPU clock speed and a 20% higher CPU clock speed compared to the base XR2 Gen 2. It also supports higher resolution display output, up to 4.3K per eye at 90Hz or 3.7K per eye at 120Hz, and includes support for up to 12 concurrent cameras for advanced face and eye tracking. This chipset is designed for fully tetherless headsets and is expected to power Samsung’s upcoming Google-powered headset, a new HTC Vive headset, a YVR headset in China.

Samsung’s XR Headset and Android XR

Samsung’s XR headset is expected to come with its operating system, reportedly called Android XR. Google has been trying to persuade Meta to switch to Android XR for its Meta Quest headsets over its own Meta Quest OS, but Meta has declined the offer. Meta is working with LG on its premium headset and Quest Pro successor, which could be released in 2025.

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The XR headset is being created under a separate team called the ‘Immersive Team’ within Samsung’s Mobile Experience division. This device is rumoured to feature a 1.03-inch OLEDoS display with a high pixel density, Qualcomm’s Snapdragon XR2+ processor, as well as a custom version of Android for MR headsets.

Samsung has teamed up with Google to develop an XR headset. It is expected to be officially announced this year, perhaps before December. The initial release of the new headset will be limited to 30,000 units. Regarding Android XR, the operating system for Samsung’s XR headset is reportedly a version of Android customized for mixed-reality headsets. This custom Android version is being developed by Google, aligning with Samsung’s partnership with the tech giant for this project. The XR headset is also expected to integrate seamlessly with Samsung’s smartphones, tablets, and laptops.

Read Also:  Samsung To Stick with Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 for Galaxy Z Fold6 and Z Flip6

Samsung’s VR History

Samsung has a history of producing VR headsets, with its first smartphone-based headset, the Gear VR, launched in August 2015. The Gear VR is connected via USB-C to a range of flagship Samsung phones, including devices in the Galaxy and Note series. However, the main criticism users had about the headset was that it quickly drained their phone battery. In May 2023, Samsung strengthened its position in the growing VR industry by acquiring the U.S. OLED microdisplay company eMargin. This acquisition was in direct response to Apple’s unveiling of the Vision Pro. This suggests that Samsung had also potentially underestimated the quality and specs of the Apple headset.

Conclusion

The Google I/O 2024 conference is expected to showcase some features of Samsung’s XR headset. There would be AR announcements that could reveal more details about the Android XR platform. Google is currently working on this platform for Samsung’s upcoming XR headset. The Android XR platform is a custom system specifically for the new XR headset. This headset will use a more powerful chip than the Snapdragon XR2 Gen 2, the Snapdragon XR2+ Gen 2. Samsung has a good history of producing VR headsets. Its recent acquisition of eMargin makes it well-positioned to make a splash in the XR market.

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