Samsung Electronics Co Ltd (KRX:005930) is reportedly gearing up for the next generation of VR with their new mobile virtual reality headset. Coming under the “Odyssey” brand, the new VR headset by Samsung will have an ultra-high-resolution display, and will not rely on a snap-in smartphone to function.
A few weeks ago, we, at Dazeinfo, reported about the current state of VR and VR headsets. Despite somewhat lacklustre consumer response thus far, the future of VR remains bright, with estimated 38.8 million units of VR headset sales in 2018. The VR market is going to be worth nearly $25 billion by 2021, according to some estimates. Clearly, the industry still has faith in the technology too, as a record $2.3 billion was invested in AR/VR startups in 2016.
However, in the meantime, Samsung’s Gear VR has become one of the more successful consumer VR headsets, selling more than 5 million units by the end of 2016. It seems like Samsung now want to further their dominance with the new “Odyssey” headset. The headset will reportedly feature a razor sharp 2,000-pixels-per-inch (ppi) OLED display. For context, current top end VR headsets like the HTC Vive and the Oculus Rift only offer a pixel density of around 460 ppi.
So why is Samsung making such a ridiculously high-resolution VR headset? The reason has to do with addressing one of the biggest issues currently plaguing VR. Due to VR’s extremely immersive nature, many users suffer side effects like headaches, blurred vision, motion sickness and nausea. Apparently, higher pixel densities (>1000 ppi) can help alleviate these issue or banish them entirely. Such a high pixel density and ultra responsive OLED panel should also contribute in providing a much higher quality, and more pleasant VR experience. Naturally, this new product is liable to be quite expensive considering the high-end nature of its display.
Of course, Samsung is not the only one chasing the VR dream. Google has plans for its own mobile VR headset for its Daydream VR platform, which will be manufactured by HTC and Lenovo.
If Samsung manages to address one of the biggest problems currently holding VR back, we could see exploded adoption and widespread integration of VR experiences in the near future. This could be the push needed to make VR a mainstream experience.
However, the expensive price-tag remains a troubling issue. The high price of adoption is currently one of the biggest factors hindering consumer adoption and VR development. It remains to be seen whether Samsung’s new “Odyssey” headset will be revolutionary enough to justify its price-tag to consumers.