Samsung Gear VR
Eye-tracking company Visual Camp has shown off the Exynos VR III, a prototype of Samsung's standalone VR headset. REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch

Samsung is working on a standalone virtual reality headset that can work without a smartphone or connected computer. A prototype of the VR headset has now appeared, and it comes with eye and hand tracking technology.

The prototype VR headset by Samsung is labeled as Exynos VR III, and it comes with a 10nm hexa-core processor with an ARM Mali G71MP20 graphics, according to Liliputing. This seems to be an Exynos 9 Series chip, specifically the Exynos 8890 SoC.

This setup will be able to run dual WQHD+ displays (2,560 x 1,440 resolution, or close to it) at 90Hz, or a single 4K display running at 75Hz. However, it wasn’t made clear what type of displays the Exynos VR III has inside.

Exynos VR III
Samsung's prototype Exynos VR III headset as shared by the eye-tracking company Visual Camp. Visual Camp

This new standalone Samsung VR headset is said to come with eye-tracking technology, hand-tracking, voice recognition and even facial expression recognition, VR eye-tracking company Visual Camp said in a press release.

The company also mentioned “foveated rendering,” a process where a part of a VR environment is sharpened depending on where a users is gazing. This saves up system resources while also making sure that images stay sharp and clear for wherever the user is looking at.

Foveated rendering could also avoid heat build up and component wear. There was no mention of inside-out motion tracking, but it seems like the Exynos VR III should be capable of it.

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The Samsung Exynos VR III appears to be quite huge for a standalone VR headset. This is, after all, just a prototype and the final product might actually end up being smaller. That said, this device crams a lot of of new features that could push mobile VR technology forward.

IBT reported a couple of weeks ago that Samsung was working on a standalone VR headset with pixel density of 2,000 ppi. It’s not clear whether this device is the exact same thing mentioned in today’s report.

Samsung has been very quiet on the development of its standalone VR headset. Back in March, it was reported that the company demoed the device behind closed doors during Mobile World Congress 2017. It’s possible that the device at the time may have been the Exynos VR II, since what we’re seeing right now appears to be its third iteration.

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There’s no word yet on exactly when Samsung intends to officially release its standalone VR headset, but it may take some time. Judging from the technologies and features that the company wants to put in the Exynos VR headset, there’s still a lot of work needed to turn into a commercially feasible product, as pointed out by The Verge.

However, with Visual Camp already showing off the Exynos VR III, it’s very likely that Samsung will announce it soon. Some have already speculated that Samsung might show off its standalone VR headset in August alongside the Galaxy Note 8.

Other rumors suggest that Samsung might show it off during IFA 2017 in Berlin in September. If Samsung needs more time to develop the Exynos VR, it could end up being announced alongside the Galaxy S9 sometime next year.