Samsung is showing off four new VR and AR concepts at the Mobile World Congress next week. Fresh out of the C-Lab, an internal incubator that's spawned devices like the waist-watching Welt belt, comes an app to help visually impaired people read text and watch videos, a system for mapping how new furniture would look in your house, a pair of VR/AR glasses that act like a wireless monitor, and a travel-flavored 360-degree video platform.
Monitorless is probably the most interesting of Samsung's new prototypes. Packed inside what look like chunky sunglasses is a hybrid VR/AR system, that can be connected to a smartphone or PC via Wi-Fi, and used like a wireless screen. Watching videos or playing games through that calls to mind the Avegant Glyph (minus the HDMI tether), and the electrochromic glass allows it to transition between a VR big picture setup, and an AR-style overlay onto the real world. It also sounds like a phone and PC can be chained together, using the handheld as a controller while streaming content from the computer.
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On a more humanitarian note, Relúmĭno is a Gear VR app designed to correct various visual impairments to help people read, watch video, look at images, browse the internet or whatever else you might do with a screen. Bringing content into focus is one part of that, but the system can help with other issues as well: for people with blind spots inside their field of vision, the app can present the obscured part of the image somewhere else. And for sufferers of metamorphopsia – a condition where straight lines will appear wavy – Relúmĭno will straighten them out with an Amlser grid chart.
Digital shoppers who aren't sure if a new couch will fit, physically or aesthetically, in their living room could find help in VuildUs. Using a 360-degree depth-sensing camera and an app, the system is designed to size up a room and virtually place pieces of furniture in it, allowing shoppers to see what looks right and whether objects will squeeze into the available space. Apart from being compatible with SamsungPay, there's no word yet on what digital stores the system might work with.
Last (and probably least), traVRer is a platform for 360-degree videos of world locations and landmarks. Samsung says users can move about in the virtual space by switching to different videos taken at different angles, without needing to flick through menus.
There's no word on when or if these prototypes will ever make it to market, but Samsung is showing them off at its booth at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, from February 27 to March 2.
Monitorless and VuildUs can be seen in action in the videos below.