During Samsung's Unpacked event yesterday Qualcomm's CEO, Cristiano Amon, and Google's SVP of Android, Hiroshi Lockheimer, appeared onstage to co-announce the collaboration.
Samsung did not mention whether any specific products are in development. It didn't provide a timeline for any upcoming mixed-reality products or services.
The Tame Apple Press is doing its best to play down any news, mostly because Apple has been inventing mixed reality for sometime now, but only has gotten as far as creating a reality distortion field where its users believe it is innovative.
For those who came in late, mixed reality is a blanket term used to describe technology that blends the characteristics of augmented and virtual reality. A new wave of VR headsets are advancing mixed reality via passthrough cameras, a technique that allows VR and AR technologies to blend into one product line. Most of the manufacturers are following this line.
Samsung has been relatively quiet about virtual reality aside from its Gear VR headset, which it launched several iterations of between 2015 and 2017. That device is a head-mounted holster for smartphone-powered VR experiences.
The collaboration makes sense since Samsung, Google and Qualcomm already work together to develop smartphones. Samsung builds the hardware of its Galaxy phones, while Qualcomm supplies the processor and Google manages the software's underlying Android operating system.
Google and Qualcomm will play similar roles in the development of this upcoming XR platform, although they will likely overlap in certain areas. Even though Qualcomm would supply the processor, for example, Samsung might make some optimisations, just as it's done for the chip inside the Galaxy S23 lineup.
Qualcomm said: "Building upon our existing collaboration with Samsung and Google, we have meaningful plans to collectively drive XR experiences forward. With our Snapdragon XR innovations -- together with Samsung's amazing products and Google's technology -- we have the foundation to make these opportunities a reality and drive the future of the spatial internet."
Qualcomm has been the chip supplier for nearly every major VR and AR headset for years, and has its own initiative to drive a wave of phone-compatible VR and AR headsets over the next few years. Qualcomm is also collaborating with Microsoft on its future AR glasses hardware, and with Meta on its future devices. It's unclear whether this new collaboration will be compatible with Qualcomm's existing Snapdragon Spaces platform for headsets and phones.
Google's Kaori Miyake, when asked for comment, added, "We're excited to work with our partners to build a new generation of immersive computing experiences that will further elevate what users can do with Google."