AHAndroid Headlines , March 2, 2017 - Written By Daniel Fuller
Samsung revealed an all-in-one VR headset at this year’s Mobile World Congress, and the eye tracking technology inside it was created in collaboration with Visualcamp.
The headset in question is mostly built by Samsung alone, with their Exynos processor powering the whole thing and a pair of their own AMOLED displays sitting in front of users’ eyes, but the eye tracking backend was provided by Visualcamp. Neither company revealed whether Visualcamp provided the hardware powering the eye tracking, such as cameras and proximity sensors, or exactly how it all works. The headset itself was actually shown to a limited audience behind closed doors at MWC. Samsung has yet to announce just when it may be shown off more widely, or when it might hit the market, though there is reason to suspect that it may pop up when the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8 Plus are revealed.
Visualcamp’s technology is fully portable, and is able to be used in devices that use smartphones as a base, in all-in-one headsets, or in PC-tethered headsets. It could pop up in just about any virtual reality device, giving it serious market potential, should Visualcamp manage to go worldwide. More amazingly, however, the eye tracking, which is usually fairly taxing on a CPU, is extremely light. On the all-in-one Samsung device, for example, it was shown as using up only 3% of the total CPU power available. Given the sheer power of modern mobile chips, this figure is essentially a drop in the bucket, and could even mean that the technology could feasibly be used on older, lower-power devices.
Visualcamp, despite their proficiency with VR and eye-tracking, are not all that well-known worldwide. Visualcamp’s CEO, Seok Yun-chan, hopes that lending their technological prowess to Samsung will change that, giving them a foothold in the global VR market as eye-tracking slowly transitions from rare feature, to killer app, and finally into ubiquity. Visualcamp has already received accolades for their technology in their native South Korea, being recognized as a member of the top 15 in the G-Startup Seoul, out of some 200 startups competing for the top spot on the grounds of technological achievement and growth potential.