Samsung readying VR headset that incorporates smartphone
Samsung is busy prepping a virtual reality headset, in conjunction with Oculus VR, a company that makes gaming headsets, according to a well-connected Samsung-centric website.
The red-and-black headset will be added to Samsung's Gear line of wearable tech, under the name Gear VR.
Samsung will officially make the virtual reality device very real at the Internationale Funkausstellung, or IFA to you, in Berlin in early September. IFA is the largest consumer electronics trade show in the world.
The headset is a modular design, and will dock with many Samsung Galaxy devices to use the smartphone's accelerometer, gyroscope and processor to allow the headset to track head motions. By glomming off the device's sensors, power and software, the Gear VR headset is not electronically complex, which should result in an easier-to-make product, resulting hopefully in a more affordable price for the headset.
The smartphone will connect with the headset via a USB 3.0 port. The better the screen quality of the smartphone, the better the viewing experience will be for the virtual realist.
The Gear VR headset incorporates an elastic headband and padded cushions on each side, which should make for a comfortable wearing experience.
Since the Gear VR relies on a smartphone to also provide the viewer with a clear view of the real world, the headset features a see-through button that uses the smartphone's rear-facing camera sensor to provide a video feed of what's happening in the outside world. One advantage of this feature is that the wearer can still see where he or she is going while walking around with a phone on their face. It also means that the headset does not have to be continuously taken on and off during normal use. According to the Samsung-connected web source, this is a convenience not offered by rival products from Oculus or Sony.
The Gear VR headset also utilizes a touch pad under the see-through button that lines up with the attached smartphone's user interface for easier manipulation of the smartphone's (and by extension, the headset's) controls.
Samsung is working with Oculus VR on software for the Gear VR. This should focus on Oculus VR's experience in gaming headsets. Samsung will also be creating a slew of Samsung Apps for Gear VR, to include Gear smart watch apps such as Theatre, 360 Player and Gallery. A software development kit will be made available to developers in the near future.