Samsung, Google, and Qualcomm are joining forces to build a new mixed-reality platform. Together, executives from the three companies, TM Roh of Samsung, Hiroshi Lockheimer of Google, and Cristiano Amon of Qualcomm came on stage at the recently concluded and live-streamed Samsung Galaxy Unpacked event for this announcement.
However, they only announced the partnership. There was no future device or hardware product shown.
Mixed reality refers to the blending of physical and digital worlds, unlocking natural and intuitive three-dimensional human, computer, and environmental interactions.
“We are working to create a new era of highly immersive digital experiences that blur the line between our physical and digital worlds. With our Snapdragon XR tech, Samsung’s amazing products, and Google experiences we have the foundation to make this opportunity a reality,” Qualcomm’s Amon said during the event.
Furthermore, Google’s Lockheimer noted that the company has been investing in both AR and VR “across experiences and technology,” adding that this tie-up will provide “cutting-edge advanced hardware and software” to “delivery the next-gen technology.”
This collaboration of the three tech giants appeared in the experts’ eyes that it is like this partnership formed to fend off competition from Apple and Meta. Meta has been harping about investing in the Metaverse and immersive experiences over the past few years. The company also launched the Quest Pro headset in 2022. While Apple has been generally quiet in this regard, there are reports saying the company might unveil a mixed-reality headset soon.
Roh, who heads the mobile division of Samsung, told the media that this announcement is declarative at the moment. Still, each company will bring its own expertise in creating the mixed-reality platform.
“Each player is taking leadership in each category, and then we will be working very closely together across the different categories,” Roh said.
Of the three companies, Qualcomm is more active in the space, having provided chips to several headset makers, including Meta.
Also, in the past, Samsung had various mobile-powered VR headsets with Oculus under the Gear VR moniker, but this was eventually discontinued.
In 2019, the chief technology officer of Oculus, John Carmack, stated that the lineup was a “missed opportunity.”
Google started the Daydream VR project back in 2016 but shut it down in 2019. On the AR side of things, the search giant launched Project Tango in 2014, a blend of hardware and software to scan three-dimensional spaces, only to abandon the project in 2019.
The three companies have already worked together on numerous projects. Aside from the hardware, Samsung and Google have collaborated to launch a version of Wear OS and to enable cross-platform compatibility for Matter-enabled products in the smart home space.
“Google’s been investing for a long time across both experiences and technology in AR and VR,” Lockheimer further noted onstage during the Samsung event. “Delivering this next generation of experiences requires cutting-edge advanced hardware and software. That’s why our collaboration with Samsung and Qualcomm is so exciting.”