May 17, 2020 – Samsung has announced this week that it will be ending service for its XR applications across web, mobile, and headset platforms. The service will terminate on September 30, 2020. In the meantime, users will see the following changes roll out across key dates:
- 360° video upload is unavailable;
- Premium video purchases are suspended. Any users that have purchased premium videos from the service will still be able to access the content until September 30, 2020;
- All Samsung XR and Samsung VR Video clients will no longer receive updates.
Effective June 30, 2020
- The Samsung VR Video app will no longer be supported on Oculus Go, Oculus Rift, or Oculus Quest, and will be removed from the Oculus store.
Effective September 30, 2020
- All Samsung XR user accounts will be disabled and removed. All users’ account information and associated data will be permanently deleted from the Samsung XR service;
- All published videos will be removed from the Samsung XR service. Once deleted, data cannot be recovered. Samsung XR will not be liable for any losses from deletion of any video;
- The Samsung VR Video app will no longer be supported on Samsung Gear VR or Windows Odyssey. The app will also be removed from the Oculus and Microsoft Mixed Reality stores;
- The Samsung XR mobile app will no longer be supported on Android devices. The mobile app will also be removed from the Galaxy Store and Google Play.
One question many users will have is “why is the Samsung XR service ending?” The company in fact addressed this point by stating that “Samsung is rethinking its immersive video distribution service, especially given that Gear VR is no longer available. We remain engaged with the ecosystem, exploring the potential of mobile AR and volumetric technologies.”
Needless to say, this week’s announcement seems to signal an end to the company’s efforts towards entertainment-focused digital and app-based VR solutions for the time being. This doesn’t come as too much of a surprise, as Samsung has been very quiet over the last year or so with relation to any new announcements regarding its XR service. That being said, the company has been expanding its efforts towards augmented reality solutions.
As one of the first large consumer electronics companies to enter the VR market, the announcement could be a firm signal of a change in direction for the company, with Samsung deciding to switch its efforts from VR to AR. It was still less than a year ago that Samsung filed a patent for an augmented reality smart glasses design after all. With rumours of a pair of AR smart glasses on the horizon from Apple as early as 2022, it could be that Samsung is positioning itself so as to not be left behind when consumer AR glasses become commonplace.
For users who have questions about the changes, the company has provided a Q&A, or users can contact support(Replace this parenthesis with the @ sign)samsungxr.com.
For more information on Samsung and a breakdown of the company’s AR and VR offerings,
Visit the Samsung profile page on the Auganix HUD.
Image credit: Samsung XR / Auganix