Samsung has been working on a Odyssey-branded virtual reality headset, and a number of leaks suggest that the company may reveal the device as early as next week. The headset will complement the company’s Gear VR mobile headset with higher-end technology, but is also a departure from the company’s partnership with Facebook-owned Oculus.
Reports about a Samsung VR product code-named Odyssey first surfaced last year, which is also when company executives first revealed that Samsung was working on higher-end VR projects. Last week, Twitter user Walkingcat actually got his hands on photos of the finished product, showing a high-end headset with Samsung branding, two cameras for inside-out tracking and integrated headphones made by AKG.
The images also featured a visible “Windows Mixed Reality” logo, suggesting that Samsung’s headset is being powered by the same Windows software that’s also being used for headsets from Acer and Lenovo.
On Thursday, another piece of the puzzle arrived, courtesy of a partially redacted FCC filing. The agency approved a VR controller that looks just like the one depicted in the leaked images, and is being described as a “Samsung HMD Odyssey Controller Left” on a product label reproduced in the filing.
Companies like Samsung typically don’t file for FCC approval for their products until they are about to release them — and it just happens to be that two opportunities for such a release are just around the corner: Microsoft is holding a press event for its Mixed Reality line of products next week. And later in the month, Samsung is having its annual developer conference in San Francisco, featuring, among other things, a session about “the future of VR at Samsung” that’s being described with the following words:
“Since Samsung introduced Gear VR in 2014, there have been many innovations in virtual reality. In this session, we will share what’s on the horizon for Samsung in the VR space and offer a glimpse into where we are headed across devices, software, and services.”
It’s very likely that we will hear more about the Odyssey VR headset then as well, if not earlier.
A Samsung spokesperson declined to comment; Microsoft didn’t respond to a request for comment.