Samsung’s secret VR headset prototype has eye and hand tracking

 

A VR eye-tracking company called Visual Camp just spilled about a secret standalone VR headset prototype that Samsung showed at MWC in March behind closed doors, as spotted on Liliputing. It’s labeled “Exynos VR III,” to differentiate it from the Exynos VR II which presumably came before it. It’s powered by a 10nm SoC with Mali G71 graphics — something that sounds a lot like the Exynos 9 Series chip. It’s capable of powering dual “WQHD+” displays (2560 x 1440 or something close to that) at 90Hz, or one 4K display at 75Hz, although it’s unclear what screen is inside the headset in this picture. It’s also enormous.

The headset has gaze tracking — hence the Visual Camp press release — in addition to hand tracking and facial expression recognition. There’s no mention of inside-out motion tracking, the next big frontier for mobile headsets, but presumably there are enough sensors on here to make that possible. The press release does mention foveated rendering, made possible by the gaze tracking, which concentrates rendering power wherever the eyes are actually focused.

It seems fairly obvious, from the size and design of this headset, that it’s merely a prototype or a tech demo. While the technologies listed would be a big jump forward in mobile VR, putting them all in a compact and affordable package might not be feasible yet. Last year it was reported that Samsung was working on a standalone headset, and exploring hand tracking as well, but that a feature like that might be a few years out. The fact that we never heard of the Exynos VR II before now means we might not see an official announcement from Samsung about the Exynos VR III either. But if my neck can support the weight, I certainly want to try this.

#TechDomes2017

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