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Oculus working on Samsung's VR headset - Report

Oculus working on Samsung's VR headset - Report

Wed 09 Jul 2014 2:42pm GMT / 10:42am EDT / 7:42am PDT
Technology

Rift maker said to provide software support for mobile device company's own Gear VR hardware

Samsung is working with Oculus on its new VR headset for mobile devices, according to a SamMobile report. The Samsung-specific news site says the mobile phone maker's previously rumored headset will be called Gear VR, and is set to be announced in September at the IFA consumer electronics show in Berlin.

Samsung is reportedly handling the hardware side of the Gear VR on its own, while Oculus will be working with the company on software.

SamMobile likens the headset to a nicer version of Google's Cardboard viewer, a casing that holds a mobile phone in front of the user's face while software splits the screen into separate images for the left and right eyes. The phone's motion-sensing capabilities will be put to use for head-tracking, and the Gear VR will also include features like a touchpad on the side so users can manage an interface, as well as a "see-through" button to show them the phone's rear camera feed and let them see the real world without removing the headset.

The existence of Samsung's VR headset project was first reported in May. At the time, Samsung was said to be aiming for a price point lower than the Oculus Rift or Sony's Project Morpheus, and attempting to beat both of those products to market.

7 Comments

Dan Tubb Investment manager, Edge

32 165 5.2
Recently got the opportunity to try a version of this. And while I have not used a full Oculus and so have little in way of comparison I do have some observations.

Firstly the head movement works seamlessly and while the overall experience was awesome I have to say that the screen quality was good, but not the HD standard we have come to expect, and this was using a Samsung S4 which I always thought had a great screen.

But evolution in screen quality will come. Overall I really look forward to being able to relax on a long fight and use one of these to watch a movie as if I was in an Imax cinema. Or better yet link to the planes external cameras to make the plane made of glass so I can watch take-off and flying in all directions not just a pokey window.

I know a lot of people were upset with FB buying Oculus, but really, the applications go so much further than games.

Posted:5 months ago

#1

Steve Wetz Reviewer/Assistant Editor, Gamer's Glance

213 529 2.5
Oculus may be too altruistic for its own good. There is definite market overlap here - and the second someone writes an app that allows them to stream a connection from their PC to their phone, they will be sharing the same customer base entirely, even if such a program doesn't work near as well as a stock Rift would.

Maybe someone should tell Oculus to not make the mistake Zenimax did and let their employees work on projects for other companies?

Posted:5 months ago

#2

Shawn Clapper Programmer

34 66 1.9
@Steve Wetz
I really don't think it's bad in this case. Considering how new headset technology is, having more companies market and sell it can only be a good thing. If it was only Oculus it might become too obscure for the average user, however once it becomes an "in" thing they will feed off each other to generate exposure and sales.

Just like a bunch of tornado movies coming out at the same time, or everyone releasing block games, it's good for all in the genre. One product generates interest in the next and the next and the next.

Posted:5 months ago

#3

Soma Content Creator

25 0 0.0
This Industry is so funny. Since November 2013 there is an amazing headset out there, affordable, sustainable, which works with all the good smartphones and this news is like none: Watch their real feedbacks on Amazon and watch this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XwAD2mMpn_w

Posted:5 months ago

#4

Matthew Hardy Studying Multimedia/Game Design, ITT Technical Institute

42 105 2.5
To equate a phone in a box with the Oculus Rift is to not understand either.

Posted:5 months ago

#5

Steve Wetz Reviewer/Assistant Editor, Gamer's Glance

213 529 2.5
@Shawn Clapper,

Try this at a different company. Say you work for Honda. But Toyota is making a new car that is similar to the model you work on at Honda. So you propose to your boss that you would like to go to Toyota and help them finish their work on what will likely be a direct competitor to your company's product. Anyone think that request would be approved?

@Matthew Hardy,

Your assumption only works for people who have actually tried a Rift. I'm referring to the general consumer here. This product is intended to be a VR headset. Whether it is immersive, of similar design, or powerful enough to deliver a quality experience is irrelevant. If you ask the question, "Will some people buy this instead of the Oculus Rift?" and the answer is yes, Oculus probably shouldn't help them. It's just not smart business, particularly for a company that hasn't released anything to the public.

Posted:5 months ago

#6

Matthew Hardy Studying Multimedia/Game Design, ITT Technical Institute

42 105 2.5
Steve, Oculus has no choice but to help Samsung. They're the only company capable of producing the high res screens in the numbers they need at a decent price. As it stands now, the Rift uses a single 1080p screen that is split for the viewer. What they want is a 2k screen at around 5 inches but they don't exist. They've convinced Samsung to manufacture 1440p screens in exchange for helping with the device mentioned in the article.

Posted:5 months ago

#7

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