In what almost feels like a “one more thing” moment, Samsung announced on Unpacked that it is developing an XR (Extended Reality) headset. The company joined forces with Qualcomm and Google to create this new device, which so far has no official name or confirmed release date. But working on it, Samsung is, and new evidence supports the company’s mixed reality efforts.
Our colleagues at Galaxy Club just saw a battery that carries a product code EB-BI120ABY on Korean safety. As you may recall, this isn’t the first time the “I120” model number has appeared. Last year, we reported that Samsung was working on what appeared to be a new AR or mixed reality headset with the model number SM-I120. Needless to say, product code EB-BI120ABY corresponds to the model number of the headset.
Not a successor to the Samsung Gear VR
If anything, this battery confirms that Samsung’s new mixed reality headset (or XR headset, if you will) isn’t a direct sequel to the old Gear VR. The latter requires a smartphone to operate and has no battery.
The SM-I120, on the other hand, appears to be battery powered, which makes it more like a standalone headset for mixed reality applications. The battery size is approximately 45 by 45 mm, but the capacity is unknown.
It’s worth bearing in mind that, although this battery is confirmed, there’s no telling if the SM-I120 is an upcoming product or a prototype unit. Samsung most likely experimented with different concepts before pushing its new XR project forward, and this battery may be a pre-production component of the device.
Then again, now that Qualcomm and Google are backing Samsung’s vision and the XR project is confirmed on stage at Galaxy Unpacked, there’s a higher chance that the SM-I120 headset may be the real deal.
Samsung isn’t the only phone manufacturer working on a mixed reality solution. Rival Apple is also developing mixed reality headsets. This looming rivalry could bring the vision of the metaverse closer to fruition.