2016 is the year that virtual reality is set to make its big breakthrough, as major players Oculus, Sony and HTC/Valve are set to launch their first consumer grade headsets. Samsung has been making its own play in the market with its Gear VR headset accessory for its flagship smartphones and now appears to be looking for opportunities to expand into the more general VR space.
At a Wednesday meeting of Samsung Group affiliate presidents, the topic of virtual reality was heavily discussed. Mobile Division chief Koo Yun-mo gave a presentation on the company’s future outlook and plans for virtual reality and suggested that Samsung should consider expanding further without necessarily tying its products to smartphones.
“The point in the beginning for starting the virtual reality business was to increase the competiveness of smartphones … If the opportunity presents itself, we may expand it to other areas, besides just increasing smartphone competitiveness.” – Samsung’s Koo Yun-mo
This isn’t the first time that Samsung has talked about looking at new avenues in the VR market. Previously, vice chairman Lee Jae-yong suggested that Samsung should not only look at developing devices but also content, possibly for the medical and educational sectors. Samsung has already announced plans to open a VR film studio in New York City. Furthermore, Samsung is also said to be developing products for the wider VR ecosystem, including a 360 degree virtual reality camera for creatives and a platform to curate content.
With smartphone sales continuing to miss expectations, Samsung is likely looking to virtual reality as its next big growth opportunity. Additional information about Samsung’s plans for VR will apparently be revealed during its Galaxy Unpacked event taking place at MWC on February 21st.