Samsung Glasses Mixed Reality Headset: What We Know So Far

Although it was a bit late to the game, it was unsurprising that the Apple Vision Pro mixed reality headset blew people’s minds the moment Apple officially revealed its existence and features. It has definitely caused many players in the market to rethink their designs and strategies, including Samsung who was supposedly close to announcing its own XR or eXtended reality hardware. The initial expectations were along the lines of a full headset not unlike the (Facebook) Meta Quest 3 or Samsung’s own defunct HMD Odyssey, but it seems that Samsung was “inspired” by its biggest rival to go back to the drawing board. While still largely a mystery, some of the pieces are falling into place, laying the foundations for what will soon be called Samsung Glasses.

Designer: Samsung

What: The Design

There is still some debate on what specific area of the umbrella eXtended Reality (XR) space Samsung’s headset will be aiming for. Based on a recently leaked prototype, it would have leaned more on the virtual reality side of the equation, with outward-facing cameras to allow wearers to see a glimpse of the world outside. This is the conventional HMD or Head-Mounted Device design and something Samsung is already familiar with. But with rumors of Samsung reviewing the device in lieu of the Apple Vision Pro, you can expect some big changes in terms of design.

Image courtesy of Brad Lynch

A recent trademark filing in the UK reveals that Samsung is calling dibs on the “Samsung Glasses” name. The description, which covers VR, AR, MR, and XR, isn’t exactly telling, but it does suggest it will take on a form closer to smart glasses. Considering the necessary hardware involved, it won’t be something simple like Ray-Bans or Google Glasses, more like, well, the Apple Vision Pro or the Meta Quest Pro. While not completely comfortable or portable, this design at least opens the door to AR and mixed reality more than a typical VR headset.

Apple Vision Pro

Apple Vision Pro

How: The Specs

In addition to the usual processors and electronics needed to drive such a mixed reality headset, Samsung Glasses will succeed or fail depending on the optics it uses. The prototype mentioned above lists micro OLED displays, pancake lenses, and cameras for eye and hand tracking, all of which contribute to a more immersive experience when viewing and manipulating digital objects. Samsung was reportedly planning on using a 2022 processor to power this headset, but Apple’s challenge has it mulling over a more capable chip it could use instead.

Samsung Odyssey+

Samsung Odyssey+

One thing that Samsung might be doing differently from Apple is having the battery built into the headset, though mounted on the rear rather than the front. While this naturally adds to the weight of the device, its location attempts to at least balance the load on both sides. It also makes the Samsung Glasses a bit more portable since it doesn’t have to rely on an external battery connected via a cable.

Meta Quest Pro

Meta Quest Pro

When: The Date

With the Apple Vision Pro’s market launch nearing, Samsung really doesn’t have much time left to put out its own take on the eXtended Reality space. Insider sources claim that the date has been pushed back to mid-2024, in contrast to Apple’s launch sometime between January and April. That’s not to say that Samsung is taking it slow, as developers are allegedly told to finish their XR apps by November. There will be an internal launch next month, so we might get a few more unofficial sneak peeks of the device.

Samsung GearVR

Samsung GearVR

Of course, most of these are still conjectures based on a variety of unofficial sources, so there is still plenty of room to hope for a better device. Conversely, Samsung’s track record with the Gear VR and, later, the HMD Odyssey doesn’t inspire much confidence. The design of the headset is critical for comfort, but it will be the software that will determine whether such a piece of hardware will actually entice buyers in the long run.

Apple Vision Pro

This $3,990 Mixed Reality Headset is what Fortune 500 Companies Use to Access the Metaverse

You wouldn’t be the first to think this was a Quest 3, but in fact, this headset comes from Finland-based VR/XR hardware company, Varjo. Although it does share a slight visual similarity with its passthrough camera placement on the front, the XR-4 isn’t your average mixed reality headset. Varjo’s XR-4 series, which includes the base XR-4, the XR-4 Focal Edition, and the XR-4 Secure Edition, is the company’s latest offering in the PC-powered mixed reality headset space. Its highlight, Varjo mentions, is a virtual/mixed reality experience so immersive that it’s “practically indistinguishable from natural sight.” To drive that home, Varjo boasts a client base of more than a quarter of Fortune 500 companies who employ their headsets to “train astronauts and pilots, radically shorten automotive production timelines, power medical breakthroughs, and render stunning 3D visualizations for architects and designers.”

Designer: Varjo

The XR-4 series aims to create perhaps the most believable high-fidelity virtual/mixed reality experience that goes way past the uncanny valley of tech. This is achieved through advanced features like dual 4K x 4K mini-LED displays, which offer a resolution of 51 pixels per degree and a 120 x 105-degree field of view. The displays boast double the brightness at 200 nits and a wider color gamut, covering 96% of the DCI-P3 color space. Additionally, the XR-4 series incorporates dual low-latency 20-megapixel cameras for high-fidelity, real-time photorealistic video pass-through mixed reality. Enhanced with new ambient light sensors and an 8x improvement in LiDAR resolution over its predecessor, the XR-3, these headsets seamlessly blend real and virtual elements.

One of the standout features of the XR-4 Focal Edition is its gaze-directed autofocus cameras, quite similar to the foveated rendering feature demonstrated by Apple during its Vision Pro launch back in June. These cameras are specifically beneficial for training simulations requiring interaction with real-world objects, such as in cockpit-based applications. The XR-4 Secure Edition, meanwhile, caters to government and defense organizations with stringent security requirements.

The XR-4 series is powered by NVIDIA GPUs and is integrated into NVIDIA Omniverse, enabling developers and industrial users to render photorealistic scenes and unlock ray tracing in mixed reality. This potent combination far surpasses the computational power achievable with a mobile chip, making it a game-changer for developers. The headsets are compatible with over 100 third-party PC applications and 3D engines, including Unreal Engine and Unity, ensuring their integration into demanding workflows across various sectors like training and simulation, design, engineering, and healthcare.

Despite these advancements, the XR-4 headsets are bulky and weigh a little over two pounds, making them heavier than the Quest 3 as well as Apple’s own Vision Pro that was questioned for its heavy aluminum body. However, this isn’t a significant concern for Varjo’s target customers, who typically use the headsets for limited periods, such as in training scenarios. The pricing of the XR-4 series starts at $3,990 for the base model, which may seem high for consumers, but not for the specialized industries that can absolutely benefit from the XR-4’s unique offering. In fact, consumers wouldn’t even be able to get their hands on the XR-4 given that Varjo deals exclusively with enterprise and military industries for now. The XR-4 Focal Edition, on the other hand, has an eye-watering starting price of $9,990 while the XR-4 Secure Edition, designed for government-level encrypted use, doesn’t even have a price listed online.

Mixed reality headset can teach kids about safety training

I don’t remember any safety education classes from my elementary or even my high school days. Or if there were, we probably had to learn through videos or through posters and so maybe that’s why I forgot we even had them. Kids these days are lucky as we have different kinds of technology to help them learn about all kinds of safety lessons through virtual reality and mixed reality.

Designers: Minjeong Kim, Yunseo jong, ju hwan lee, mingyeong choi, yujin jeong, minji sung, and Chaeeun Lee

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These designers came up with a concept for a mixed reality device to help students learn about disaster safety through a virtual and hands on approach. Edi is a MR device that looks like your typical VR headset but has a softer look so kids will be comfortable using it when learning. It has lighting and speakers at the bottom to give a complete experience for the user and there is even a vent for heat generation. There is a light at the top to check the battery level and the strap uses flexible fabric so the wearer will feel comfortable especially if it’s used for a longer period of time. There is also a dial to adjust the fit of the MR headset.

There is also a dial that is able to show the eyes of the user if the teacher needs to communicate with the students directly or if they need to see other users as well. The UI that the user will see when they use it is pretty simple since this is primarily for kids to use (although kids these days are much more tech savvy than most grown ups). They can choose their profile characters and enter their name and age for personalization. There are different safety training manuals and they include missions, quizes, and the actual practical course. There also seems to be a gamification function which kids should enjoy more than just taking straightforward lessons and tests.


Up to five people can participate in the training session since it’s better to learn in a group. The Edi MR headset has three different colorways: white, blue, and green. This seems to be a pretty interesting concept although there needs to be more distinguishing features from the usual VR or MR headset.

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Is the Apple Watch Series 9 secretly going to become the new Controller for the Vision Pro headset?

As Apple revealed the latest fleet of the Apple Watch collection, one feature stood out as the most remarkable as well as the most intriguing. The Watch Series 9 and Watch Ultra 2 both boasted of a new gesture input – being able to tap your fingers twice to register a button press. This would work remarkably well if your hands were occupied or dirty, letting you answer/end calls, snooze alarms, play/pause music, and even trigger your iPhone shutter simply by tapping your index finger and thumb together… without touching your Apple Watch at all. Sounds impressive, but also sounds extremely familiar, doesn’t it? Because tapping your fingers is exactly how the Apple Vision Pro registers click inputs too.

Designer: Apple

When Apple debuted the Vision Pro at WWDC in June, their biggest claim was that the Vision Pro was an entirely controller-free AR/VR headset, letting you manipulate virtual objects using just your hands. However, news emerged that Apple was, indeed, figuring out a traditional controller substitute that would be much more reliable than just human hands. It seems like the Apple Watch could be that perfect alternative.

The Watch Series 9 and Watch Ultra Series 2 were unveiled this year, with a few standout upgrades. Both watches now come with 2000 Nits peak brightness, doubling last year’s capabilities. They both also rely on the new S9 SiP (the watch’s dedicated chipset) which now runs Siri locally on the device, without relying on the internet. The watches are also accompanied by new bands, including the FineWoven fabric that now replaces all leather accessories in Apple’s catalog… but more importantly, both the Watch Series 9 and Watch Ultra Series 2 accept the new finger-tapping gesture that does what the home button on both watches would do. The feature’s due to roll out next month as Apple calibrates how it works… but the implications of the feature go beyond just the watch. In fact, the Watch could be the secret controller the Vision Pro truly needs to enhance its Spatial Computing Experience.

Sure, the Vision Pro has multiple cameras that track your environment, also keeping an eye on your hands to see where you’re pointing, tapping, and pinching. The big caveat, however, is any situation where the Vision Pro CAN’T see your hands. If you’ve got your hands under a table, in your pocket, or behind your back, the Vision Pro potentially wouldn’t be able to recognize your fingers clicking away… and that’s a pretty massive drawback for the $3500 device. Potentially though, the Apple Watch helps solve that problem by being able to detect finger taps… although only on one hand.

The way the ‘Double Tap’ feature works on the watch is by relying on the S9 SiP. The chipset uses machine learning to interpret data from the accelerometer, gyroscope, and optical heart sensor to detect when you tap your fingers twice. The feature only works with the hand that’s wearing the Watch (you can’t tap your right-hand fingers while the Watch is on your left hand), but even that’s enough to solve the Vision Pro’s big problem. Moreover, the new Ultra Wide Band chip on the watch can help with spatial tracking, letting your Vision Pro when your hands are in sight and when they aren’t. While Apple hasn’t formally announced compatibility between the Watch and the Vision Pro, we can expect more details when Apple’s spatial-computing headset formally launches next year. The Vision Pro could get its own dedicated keynote event, or even be clubbed along with the new iPad/MacBook announcements that often happen at the beginning of the calendar year.