Samsung, Google and Qualcomm are joining hands to make a mixed-reality platform. Executives from the companies, namely Samsung’s TM Roh, Qualcomm’s Cristiano Amon, and Google’s Hiroshi Lockheimer came onstage at the Samsung Galaxy Unpacked event to make this announcement.
These companies only announced the partnership — they had no future device or hardware product to show.
“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,” Amon said onstage.
Lockheimer noted that Google has been investing in both AR and VR “across experiences and technology.” He added that this partnership will provide “cutting-edge advanced hardware and software” to “deliver the next-gen technology.”
This project of three giants sounds like a partnership form to fend off competition from Meta and Apple. Meta has been harping about investing in the metaverse and immersive experiences for the last few years. The company also unveiled a $1,499 Quest Pro headset last year. While Apple has been quiet on this front, reports suggest that the company might launch a mixed-reality headset soon.
In an interview with CNET, Roh, who heads Samsung’s mobile division, said that this announcement is declarative at the moment, but each company will bring its own expertise in making 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 told the publication.
Samsung had a ton of mobile-powered VR headsets with Oculus back in the day under the Gear VR moniker, which was eventually discontinued. Oculus CTO John Carmack said in 2019 that the lineup was a “missed opportunity.” Google started the Daydream VR project in 2016 but shut it down in 2019. On the AR side of things, the search giant debuted Project Tango in 2014, which was a mix of hardware and software to scan 3D spaces, only to abandon it in 2017.
Three companies have worked together with each other on numerous projects. Apart from hardware, Samsung and Google have partnered to release a version of Wear OS and to enable cross-platform compatibility for Matter-enabled smart home products.