Samsung and Oculus’ Co-Developed ‘Gear VR’ Headset Leaks
Samsung and Oculus' upcoming virtual reality headset has been leaked and will hold your smartphone in front of your eyes.
The Gear VR is an upcoming collaborative project from Oculus VR and Samsung, SamMobile confirms. Samsung is planning to unveil the device and its counterpart smartphone, the Galaxy Note 4, at IFA 2014, which takes starts on Sept. 5 in Berlin, Germany. Instead of a standalone headset, Galaxy users will be able to dock their device into the Gear VR using a USB 3.0 connection. Instead of having sensors in its headset, the Gear VR uses the Galaxy's internal gyroscope, accelerometer and processor to track your movements. This would mean that its cost and functions would be on par with Google's Cardboard VR headset. Factor in Samsung's AMOLED display, and this headset is a good contender in the VR headset war on the horizon.
As its leaked sample photo indicates, the right side of the Gear VR has a see-through button, which activates your phone's camera to show you a live video feed of what is in front of you. This means that you can switch between the physical and virtual worlds on the fly. Since it runs off of your smartphone, this would suggest that it is significantly lighter and offers less of a strain on your neck and head than its cohorts. The Gear VR also has a touchpad under the see-through switch which lets you navigate the Galaxy phone's UI. Samsung plans on making an entire section of its apps specifically for the Gear VR like it does for its Gear smartwatches. We also expect that the headset will have some sort of interactivity with Samsung's smartwatch as well. Unfortunately, no kinds of prices or release dates have been hinted by this leak. It's also unclear as to whether or not non-Galaxy owners will be able to use the device.
Other competitors in the virtual reality headset market include Sony's Project Morpheus, which is expected to work with both the PlayStation 4 in conjunction with the DualShock 4 and PlayStation Move peripherals. Project Morpheus is expected for a late 2014/early 2015 release. The Oculus Rift is expected to be compatible with PC, Android and iOS devices. Facebook recently acquired Oculus VR for over $2 billion. Oculus' headset is also due for a late 2014/early 2015 launch. Unfortunately, Oculus VR has been under scrutiny as ZeniMax Media has filed a lawsuit against the company, claiming that Oculus stole pertinent VR know-how from them. This also suggests that ZeniMax could have their own VR program in the works.
Whatever ends up being the case, it looks as if virtual reality headsets will be more than a mere passing fad, with so many different companies looking to break through in the market.