We've heard it rumored before, but now Samsung's VR headset is showing its face. Maybe.
SamMobile scored details and a render of the virtual reality peeper, called Gear VR, a name Samsung applied to trademark in June. The Samsung-centric site revealed the headset will be announced at IFA 2014.
Side note: The Galaxy Note 4 is also due during the German show, according to SamMobile.
Samsung apparently decided not make Gear VR a standalone virtual reality viewer, like the Oculus Rift, and instead developed a modular peripheral that needs a Galaxy handset (docked via USB 3.0) to function. The phone will also act as the headset's screen.
Article continues below
The effect of virtual reality is achieved through head tracking. Using the docked phone's accelerometer, gyroscope and processor and not its own sensors, the headset will give the sensation of VR.
More Gear VR details
According to SamMobile, which doesn't state how it received the intel or render of Gear VR, the headset will feature an elastic strap and soft padded cushions.
There's a "see-through button" on the right side of the headset that will reputedly use the docked phone's rear-facing camera to stream in video of the outside world. The idea, it seems, is to cut back on taking the headset on and off.
A touchpad along the bottom of Gear VR is said to sit directly below the transparent button, and it will be used to maneuver through the phone's UI.
Many of these details were first reported by Engadget in May, and SamMobile is confirming them up as well as providing the image you see above. A new Engadget report has the site's sources saying the render is similar to though not quite the same as the Gear VR units they've seen.
A side of Oculus, and others
According to SamMobile, a section of the Samsung Apps will be devoted to Gear VR, similar to its treatment of Gear smartwatch software. Apps such as Theatre, 360 Player and Gallery will be available for the headset, but Samsung will reportedly open an SDK for third-party developers soon after the initial Gear VR announcement.
As was previously reported, Oculus is apparently lending a hand with Samsung Gear VR. While the hardware is all Samsung, the Rift maker is reportedly helping in the software development department.
How similar the experience and content between the two virtual reality headsets are will be something to keep an eye on. It may not be too hard to compare since IFA falls just days before Oculus' first developer conference.
Gear VR's set-up - a plugged-in phone that acts as the brain of the headset - is similar to Google Cardboard, a DIY VR headset the company announced during IO 2014. Though of course, users won't be building their own Gear VR.
- Is Sony's Project Morpheus shaking in its straps?