Tech giant Samsung might finally put an end to its AR drought as rumors swirl around regarding an AR glasses patent it has filed. The patent application was first filed as early as February 2019 but was only made public last week.

Samsung AR glasses patent design
Photo by KIPRIS/Samsung

Since the phone-based VR industry has decreased in recent years, the Korean phone maker has seized its interest not only in VR but in augmented reality too. The last time it released a mobile VR headset enclosure was two years ago with its Oculus-powered Gear VR headset. But now, Samsung might have just woken up from hibernation.

The alleged headset patent would mark its first endeavor in augmented reality.

An AR Refresher

Before we proceed to the rest of the story, let us first take a quick review of what augmented reality is. AR is a technology that introduces computer-generated images on the user’s view of the real world. In the case of AR glasses, users can see through the device and still see the real environment, but with added images on their view.

Augmented reality is often confused with virtual reality. As opposed to AR, VR completely blocks the users’ view of the real world and immerses them into a whole new virtual world. Let’s say you wear a VR headset; this would cut you from the external environment and make it appear as if you’re wholly inside a 3D ‘virtual’ world.

Samsung AR Glasses Design

The design is not yet final and could change should it be able to make it to the market. According to the application, the AR glasses would be made out of metal and synthetic resin. Images of the design also show that the glasses would include 2 screens and 2 cameras.

sketch of Samsung AR glasses prototype design
Photo by KIPRIS / Samsung

One of the images also shows what seems to be a cable running from the right side of the device, directly connected to the head-mounted display. This could mean that the VR glass would need a wired connection to a compatible device to work.

Other AR Glasses Efforts

Samsung will not be the first one to embark on AR glasses if ever. There were already quite a few brands of AR smart glasses people could choose from.

Microsoft has already launched 2 versions of HoloLens smart glasses. The latest one debuted in February while its predecessor was launched in 2016.

Before Microsoft, Google has long been a player of AR headsets. It first sold prototypes of Google Glass in 2013, until the device became publicly available in 2014. In May 2019, Google Glass had a significant update with the inclusion of Qualcomm XR1 chip and USB-C charging.

Samsung’s rivalry with Apple will seem to intensify more as the iPhone maker is reportedly working on its AR glasses too.

Samsung AR Glasses Release Date

The patent application doesn’t provide much information on how the headset would work or when it will be launched. So, talking about the possible release of the Samsung AR headset is yet too soon.

As of the moment, everything is still a possibility. There is no official word from Samsung if they are indeed launching an AR glass project.