Samsung developing standalone virtual reality headset

(c)iStock.com/George Clerk

Mobile giant Samsung has announced this week that it’s developing a standalone virtual reality headset.

The company is holding its annual developer conference in San Francisco this week. Yesterday, executive vice president and head of research and development Injong Rhee said the company was working on a 'wireless and virtual reality devices' that wouldn’t necessarily need a smartphone.

The product would incorporate positional tracking technologies such as those in use by Oculus Rift and HTC’s Vive. A standalone device however may take years to develop, and it’s unclear how this would work with the existing Oculus - Samsung partnership.

There’s no timeframe for the product and the company has no plans to abandon its existing virtual reality headset, the Gear VR. Indeed, more and more games are being added to its Oculus powered gaming store, including  more recently the ever popular Minecraft

The existing headset costs around $99.99 (£80) to buy on its own, but it currently needs a handset to operate. It’s compatible with Samsung Note5, S6, S6 edge, S7 and S7 edge and comes with a year’s warranty.

Samsung is also launching its 360 degree camera this week, in addition to making it easier for users to upload content to its Milk VR platform.

A price has not yet been set for the camera, which will record in 3840x1920 high resolution video and 25.9MP photos. Check out the site for a list of system requirements.

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