Samsung has revealed four new virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) projects that have been brewing in its in-house Creative Lab (C-Lab).
For the uninitiated, Samsung launched C-Lab back in 2012 as a canvas for workers to develop ideas away from their core duties. It was only at CES last year that Samsung showcased the first fruits of the program, and it has since followed up with a number of new C-Lab “graduates,” including a 360-degree wearable camcorder.
Now Samsung has given a glimpse of some new C-Lab VR / AR smarts that it intends to demo at Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona next week.
Monitorless: PC-viewing glasses
As its name suggests, Monitorless is designed to let users access smartphones and PCs without a physical monitor. Instead, this particular setup uses a specially built pair of glasses, made from electrochromic glass, that connect wirelessly to a device, which also enables VR and AR interactions, including gaming.
VuildUs: VR home furnishing
There are a number of similar products already on the market, but VuildUs touts itself as a “home interior and furnishing solution” that lets the user see what a new furniture purchase will look like in their home and determine whether it will fit.
The setup constitutes a 360-degree depth camera that swivels to capture a VR version of a room, and a mobile app — though the user will also need to have a VR-compatible smartphone and a VR headset. In effect, the user can view the room as it will look with the new furniture in place, circumventing the need to manually measure dimensions of walls or floors.
Relúmĭno: A smart aid for the visually impaired
For Relúmĭno, you’ll need a Samsung Gear VR headset. Thanks to a specially designed app, the setup helps visually impaired individuals watch TV or read books with a “new level of clarity” by enhancing images and text.
TraVRer: 360-degree travel
Why pay for flights and accommodation when you can travel somewhere using VR? That’s what TraVRer is all about — it’s a 360-degree video platform that promises to transport people to specific locations — complete with sounds, events, and the general ambience of the place in question. Users can easily change the video to head in different directions or experience the location at a different time of day.
VR and AR are undoubtedly among the breakout technology trends of the moment, however, they are still widely regarded as a gimmick outside of the gaming realm. The technology required to both develop and consume VR / AR content has come down in price, and as more players enter the fray it will likely come down further. Samsung recently revealed that it has sold 5 million Gear VR headsets in total.
“We continue to support new ideas and creativity, especially when these traits could lead to new experiences for consumers,” said Lee Jae Il, vice president of Samsung Electronics Creativity & Innovation Center. “These latest examples of C-Lab projects are a reminder that we have some talented entrepreneurial people who are unafraid to break new ground.”
“We’re looking forward to further exploring novel applications for VR and 360-degree video because there are endless possibilities in this area,” he added.