Samsung today entered the virtual reality arena with the introduction of Gear VR, a headset designed to fit the company’s new Galaxy Note 4 smartphone.
Developed in partnership with Facebook-owned Oculus, the Gear VR houses the smartphone, which acts as the screen, speaker as well as content provider for it, thus making it completely wireless unlike Oculus’ Rift.
?“The Samsung Gear VR goes far beyond expectations of how mobile technology can be used to consume content, and is a powerful representation of the progressive innovation of the Gear series. We are pleased to have partnered with Oculus VR to bring this incredibly immersive mobile content experience to consumers.”
Samsung is calling it an Innovator Edition like Google’s Glass Explorer Edition, which is an indication that it is not meant for everyone. The company is targeting VR enthusiasts, developers, mobile experts and professionals, and early technology adopters with the device.
Gear VR packs a focal adjustment lens, variety of sensors to track head movements as well as a side trackpad designed for navigating menus and playing games, a back button, and a volume key. Samsung claims that the device will offer a 96-degree field of view, giving an experience similar to looking at 4.4m screen from two meters away.
“The Gear VR is powered by the new Oculus Mobile SDK, and also uses variations of the Oculus Tracker and firmware built into the headset for extremely accurate, ultra low-latency 3DOF tracking. It’s impossible to deliver a high quality mobile experience without this kind of deep end-to-end hardware, software, and firmware optimization. As a result, we’ve been able to achieve sub-20 millisecond motion-to-photons latency, roughly equivalent to the most highly optimized experiences on DK2,” notes Oculus in a blog post.
Availability: Samsung Gear VR will be available in White colour options through the Samsung online store and select carriers this year.
Check out the Gear VR features and full specs below:
Temple Run VR
Looking for games for Gear VR, Imangi Studios has unveiled Temple Run VR for the device. It will be released alongside Gear VR and provide this endless run in a new way.
“We are incredibly excited to be a part of this revolution in gaming, and we jumped at the opportunity to work with Samsung and Oculus to make Temple Run VR. Virtual reality opens up a whole new world of possibilities for us to create amazing experiences. We’ve truly been able to transport players to another world and let them viscerally feel the thrill of the chase,” said Keith Shepherd, co-founder of Imangi Studios in a statement.