It was revealed in May this year that Samsung will be producing its own virtual reality headset and the date for the product’s launch is set before the Oculus Rift hits stores. Reports from ENGadget have now explained that the South Korean company is not going to be doing this project alone – the company is looking to Oculus for help.
The virtual reality headset has been rumoured to be called Gear VR if the trademark application by Samsung to the US Patent and Trademark Office is in fact for the headset. While Oculus’s virtual headsets are aimed for gaming, the Gear VR might not be running on Android and is reportedly aimed for delivering entertainment and for user’s media consumption purposes.
Back to the partnership between Oculus and Samsung, the South Korean company will be attaining access to Oculus’ mobile virtual software development kit which will power the software experience offered by the headset. With this, it is reported that Samsung is already in the development stages of making a user interface for the Gear VR.
You may be asking yourselves at this point, what does Oculus get in return? Well, it seems that the American based company will be getting an early VIP access to Samsung’s next-gen, high-pixel density OLED screens. It’s rumoured that these screens will have a higher resolution that the current 1080p. However, even though the corporations will be sharing technology, the handsets being produced by them are to be as different as day and night. As stated before, one aims to games, one aims to entertain.
The South Korean company is also looking to produce a dockable device that will utilize existing smartphone displays as the screen. Why do this? The main reason would be to lower costs of the gadget, making it more affordable in the beginning stages of the launch. This is the key difference between the virtual reality headsets from both these giants. Samsung’s Gear VR will use your smartphone’s display. To utilize this, you will need to plug in your smartphone to the VR headset via a wired connected e.g. a USB cable and use the display as the screen for the headset.
The Gear VR will feature an accelerometer and sensor’s that free up your smartphone’s processors while the user interface will allow you to navigate using motion detection and head tracking. The ability to dock your smartphone to the headset means that you can use the rear camera of your smartphone to show “a video feed of the outside world to your eyes.”
With this much of details flying around and the constant updates coming up, it is more or less confirmed that the Gear VR will hit our stores soon. It will be interesting to see what the exact specs and features of Samsung’s virtual reality headset will have and how this collaboration will bring the product to the next level.