What you need to know
- Samsung and Google are working on an upcoming spatial computing headset to challenge the Apple Vision Pro.
- A model number leak could have revealed a second headset in the works and a pair of controllers for Samsung's headset.
- Apple only supports hand tracking on Vision Pro, while other headsets like the Meta Quest 3 support hand tracking and controller tracking.
Apple Vision Pro might be pushing the specs for upcoming VR headsets into the stratosphere, but the headset is missing one key component: controllers. The Apple Vision Pro is shipping on February 2 and its interface uses a combination of eye tracking and hand tracking. The headset can be paired with Bluetooth controllers but none of them are tracked in 3D space.
Headsets like the Meta Quest 3 ship with controllers that are tracked by the headset, and one leak (via SamMobile) suggests that Samsung could follow suit. The leak revealed a potential new model number for Samsung's upcoming XR headset, SM-I130. Previously, we were aware of a headset with the model number SM-I110. While this doesn't tell us much, it could mean that Samsung is working on two headsets instead of one.
A controller with the model number SM-I610 was also leaked alongside the new headset, suggesting that these controllers will be packed in with the new headset. It's possible that Samsung will sell a headset with a controller packed in and one without the controller for a reduced price, but this is all speculation at this point.
Meta pioneered hand tracking on its Quest VR headsets but the technology has only recently become more usable thanks to some big software upgrades. Since Samsung is said to be attempting to challenge the Apple Vision Pro, it would make sense for the company to offer both hand tracking and controller tracking for more diversified experiences.
Since hand tracking limits how you can interact with a game, many VR games require tracked controllers with buttons for extra input options. This could give Samsung a huge advantage and put it on even footing with Meta, meaning the company could be competing for both halves of the current VR space — that is, a gaming-focused headset like the Meta Quest and a more media/work-focused headset like Apple Vision Pro.
Get the best of both worlds for a lower price with the Meta Quest 3, supporting both tracked controllers and hand tracking in many VR and mixed reality experiences.
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