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Report: Samsung joining virtual reality race with Galaxy headset

Korean giant adds yet another name to growing field

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Samsung is reportedly developing a virtual reality headset for use with its Galaxy line of mobile devices.

News blog Engadget cited sources close to the company in reporting that the consumer electronics giant is planning to release a headset which would function as a wearable display for Galaxy handsets and tablets.

The report suggests that the Korean firm is already in the late stages of development for the headset with a release slated to take place later this year. The headset is said to be a virtual reality device and not the Google Glass-like augmented reality project the company described last month in a Korean Intellectual Property Office filing.

Samsung kicked off a line of wearable devices last year when the company unveiled its Galaxy Gear smartwatch line. The wrist-mounted device functions as an extension for some Galaxy phones and tablets, pairing with the systems in order to operate.

Thus far, the reception for the Galaxy Gear has been lukewarm at best as consumers have balked at paying a premium for a device with limited apparent functionality.

Currently, the Facebook-backed Oculus is receiving the lion's share of attention for virtual reality as the firm pushes forward with he development of its Rift headset platform. Boasting big names such as gaming legend John Carmack, the company has won headlines though it is currently in the midst of an ugly public spat with software house ZeiMax over accusations of intellectual property theft related to the hiring of Carmack.

Sony, meanwhile, has showcased prototype builds of a VR headset dubbed Project Morpheus which would seek to harness the horsepower of the Playstation 4 console.

Apple has also raised eyebrows with patent filings of its own which suggest that Cupertino is at least entertaining the idea of a virtual reality headset which, like Samsung's proposed system, could supplement the company's line of mobile devices running the iOS platform.

Given the acrimonious legal relationship between Apple and Samsung as of late, the dueling headsets would likely be the source of further courtroom bickering and claims of patent infringement. ®

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