Although the Samsung Galaxy S8 may not make its big entrance at Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona next week, the company will however be presenting a few new VR/AR projects coming direct from their in-house incubator Creative Lab (C-Lab). Just recompense? Maybe not, but there’s at least two in the bunch that ought to raise an eyebrow—and all of them will undoubtedly explode your computer’s spellcheck.
Located at the ‘4 Years From Now’ section of the expo, a sort of launch pad for mobile startups hosted by MWC, Samsung will be showing off four new conceptual products, including a new VR/AR head-mounted display, a smart aid for visually impaired people, a VR home furnishing solution and a 360-degree video platform focused on virtual tourism.
With its integrated CPU, special lenses, projector, battery, speaker and Wi-Fi module capable of tethering with your devices via Wi-Fi Direct, Monitorless promises to provide the user with an up-close and personal view of your smartphone or PC. Samsung says it can be used for augmented reality and virtual reality thanks to the electrochromic glass (AKA ‘smart glass’) that can block out external light on demand. Samsung hasn’t said yet if the headset will have access to made-for-VR content, or if it simply a bespoke screen mirroring device. I guess we’ll find out soon.
Relúmĭno is a Gear VR-compatible visual aid application for near blind and visually impaired people, which Samsung boasts will “enable them to read books and watch TV with new levels of clarity.” The company maintains that Relúmĭno has the ability to remap blind spots by displacing images and uses an Amlser grid, a common chart used to help diagnose macular degreneration of the eye. Relúmĭno aims to effectively replace expensive visual aids currently available in the market.
VuildUs is home interior planning system that make use of a 360-degree depth camera (Samsung doesn’t produce one of those yet) and a mobile app for VR compatible devices. Much like a VR version of IKEA’s AR Catalog app, VuildUs lets users provisionally position a digital version of furniture to see how it fits in the room before they buy it.
traVRer, the last wordy entree from C-Lab showing at MWC, is a 360-degree video platform focused on virtual tourism, letting you visit landmarks and famous places around the world but with the mood, noises and events captured. While we need another 360 video platform like a new hole in out heads, Samsung says the platform will allow you not only to watch the video, but navigate easily between videos so you can go explore in different directions or see the site at a specific time of day—something that promises to improve upon existing 360 video platforms.
“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.”
The C-Lab projects will be exhibited at Samsung Electronics’ booth (4YFN G1 in the Fira Barcelona).