Samsung Working on Standalone VR Headset; Unveils Virtual Assistant Robot

Samsung Working on Standalone VR Headset; Unveils Virtual Assistant Robot
Highlights
  • The Samsung Gear 360 camera will release on Friday.
  • The standalone VR headset will be wireless, and untethered.
  • The Otto voice-based virtual assistant robot showcased Artik.

At the ongoing Samsung Developer Conference 2016, the South Korean giant has made a few announcements regarding its Gear 360 camera, virtual reality, and its push into the Internet of Things.

Samsung introduced its Samsung Gear 360 camera back at MWC 2016, but did not reveal when it would launch, or a price. However, now the company has finally announced the 360-degree spherical camera will be available starting Friday. Although the official price of the device has not been announced, a recent third-party listing revealed the Gear 360 to cost $349.99 (approximately Rs. 23,000). It's a 360-degree camera which can allow consumers to create, view, and share their videos and still image content. Samsung at MWC stressed that the Gear 360 was designed for travel, festive gatherings, and other such activities.

At the conference, Injong Rhee, Head of Research and Development at Samsung confirmed that the company is working on a standalone headset (one that will not require a smartphone or desktop) that would go against the Oculus and the HTC Vive. The headset will be fully wireless, and untethered. It will also feature positional tracking tech like seen in the Oculus VR and Vive. Samsung is also trying to explore hand and gesture tracking in its next-gen VR headset. However, Rhee added this might take some time to reach the consumers. We might hear more about the VR device in question during the year.

The Samsung Developer Conference 2016 also witnessed the launch of the Otto voice-based virtual assistant robot, Samsung's move to take on the Amazon Echo. Being one of the latest developments by Samsung in the field of Internet of Things, Otto is designed to answer questions about the weather and control connected devices and appliances, reports The Variety.

Besides a microphone and a speaker, Samsung Otto robot also houses a HD camera to recognise faces for enhanced security. Additionally, a small display is provided to show relevant animations. However, Samsung has made it clear that Otto is still a prototype, and was meant to demonstrate the company's Artik Internet of Things platform.

Although the platform was already introduced before, Samsung at the SDC 2016 announced the Samsung Artik Cloud open data exchange platform for developers. Other developer kits and tools have also been announced.

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