Samsung exploring 'dedicated' VR headset with positional tracking

Samsung sees a virtual reality future, but the industry is still in its 'infancy'.

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Twitter/Owen Williams

Samsung confirmed during its developer conference on Wednesday plans to release a standalone virtual reality headset with positional tracking independent of a smartphone.

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The new headset, which would be an upgrade to the Gear VR, is currently in development, and it's not clear when it could be released. It's worth noting that the more expensive HTC Vive and Oculus Rift (whose parent company makes the Gear's software) can already operate independent of a smartphone.

Injong Rhee, head of research and development at Samsung, said the company is also exploring hand and gesture tracking.

"We are working on wireless and dedicated VR devices, not necessarily working with our mobile phone," Rhee told Variety, cautioning it could be years before these types of features are released as it works to bring all the hardware together.

"VR is amazing, but the industry is still at its infancy," Rhee said.

The virtual reality market has been picking up, with Facebook, the big mobile handset makers, and new upstarts joining the fray. During its developer conference, Samsung also discussed a VR Upload SDK that will make it easier for content producers to publish VR content.