Along with the announcement of the Galaxy Note 4 and Note 4 Edge, Samsung unveiled the long-rumored Gear VR headset. This headset provides an immersive virtual reality experience, without most of the complexities that come with an Oculus Rift. Oddly enough, Samsung’s Gear VR was created through a partnership between Facebook owned Oculus and Samsung…
The entire setup is “powered by Oculus,” but it actually uses a smartphone as the source of content instead of a computer. Which smartphone, you ask? None other than the recently announced Galaxy Note 4. That’s right, you’ll need a Galaxy Note 4 in order to use the Gear VR. In my opinion, Samsung should have opened it up a little and made it available to at least “Galaxy devices.” Sorry, you’ll need to buy a Note 4 and Gear VR for this Samsung experience zone.
The Gear VR is made out of plastic, but it feels like a solid device. It’s also equip with an Accelerator, Gyrometer, Magnetic, and Proximity sensor along with a touch pad and navigation buttons.
Check out our Gear VR hands-on video below:
The Gear VR is very similar in operation when compared to the Durovis Dive or Google Cardboard. Though the last two will work with a wide variety of smartphones. I think it’s great that Samsung is taking a big step to push this type of technology to a mainstream level, but I’m not convinced that anyone really needs this type of device.
If you haven’t used a VR headset before, there’s no easy way to explain the experience. The best way that you can familiarize yourself with this technology without breaking the bank is to order Google Cardboard. The result will be a comparable experience and allow you to decide if Gear VR is a worthy purchase.
Sure, the Gear VR (or similar devices) will take watching movies, playing games, and other activities to another level, but it’s just such a pain to wear on your head. In my brief time with it, I didn’t notice any discomfort, but I don’t feel like it wouldn’t be comfortable to wear for an extended period of time.
It seems that the Gear VR may still be in the beta stage due to the “innovator edition” tag on the end of its name. There’s no set release date, but Samsung says the Gear VR will be available in Frost White “through the Samsung online channel and selectively by carriers this year.” No pricing has been announced. Check out the press release below.
Berlin, Germany – September 3, 2014 – Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. today introduced the next generation in wearable technology, the Samsung Gear VR Innovator Edition, enabling users to fully immerse themselves in a cinematic virtual reality environment. Powered by Oculus technology, the Samsung Gear VR delivers a completely new way to experience and consume mobile content. It continues Samsung’s leadership in the wearable category through innovative technology and compelling design to expand the definition of mobile life.
The result of a deep and integrated partnership with Oculus, a Facebook company and a leader in virtual reality technology, the Samsung Gear VR creates an immersive mobile virtual reality experience that the industry has never seen before.
“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,” said JK Shin, President and CEO of IT & Mobile Communications Division at Samsung Electronics. “We are pleased to have partnered with Oculus VR to bring this incredibly immersive mobile content experience to consumers.”
”We are thrilled to reveal the Gear VR Innovator Edition, a state-of-the-art mobile VR experience powered by Oculus,” said John Carmack, CTO of Oculus. “The deep technical partnership with Samsung has enabled us to create a virtual reality headset with world class resolution and performance, all on a completely mobile platform.”
The Samsung Gear VR delivers an unrivaled viewing experience with the 5.7 inch Quad HD Super AMOLED display of the Galaxy Note 4 providing stunning and engaging visuals at a mobile-leading resolution. With the Gear VR Innovator Edition, users can sit in the best seat of a theater, can be on-stage of a performance with full 360 3D video, and can enjoy gaming like it’s never been seen before – inside the stunning worlds where imagination becomes reality. Samsung’s industry leading Super AMOLED display technology and cutting-edge Oculus-driven technologies fuse to create an experience that surprises and delights – all on a mobile device.
Built with soft, flexible cushioning and lightweight materials, the Samsung Gear VR is comfortable to wear. It is completely wireless, so users can be fully engaged in virtual worlds without being tethered to a computer. With a robust selection of optimized virtual reality content from a wide range of top-tier creators, users will be able to enjoy a wide range of film, gaming, 360 degree video, and educational/experiential content.
The Samsung Gear VR will be available in Frost White through the Samsung online channel and selectively by carriers this year. Full details and product images are available at www.samsungmobilepress.com and www.oculus.com/blog/.