Samsung Gear VR – Mobile Virtual Reality

Samsung made a big splash at the Berlin IFA last week. Not content with dominating the smartphone market, Samsung decided to follow-up on their successful inception of the phablet market by creating yet another new marketplace. Truly mobile Virtual Reality.

A New Reality For Mobile

Along with technology legend John Carmack (founder and former CEO of ID software, creators of Doom) the Chief Technical Officer of Oculus. Samsung have developed a portable VR device to be used in conjunction with their latest smartphone offering, the Galaxy Note 4.

Reportedly Carmack was the sole developer on the project for the first six-months, wanting to work in isolation until he was confident he had a solid game plan to push the development forward and get it right.

Regarding working alone and the opportunity presented by Samsung;

That was really the prime thing that motivated me to decide: No, I’m gonna devote 100 percent of my attention and focus to Oculus,”

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Design

The Gear VR looks much like the typical modern VR goggles, with a sleek design and being comfortable to wear. The main difference is that this device is completely portable and uses your phone as it’s screen (made possible with the large Note 4 quad-HD display). The Note 4 slips into the front section of the headset and sits mere centimetres in front of your face. The developers say this is the equivalent to sitting in front of a 100+” HDTV.

The device uses some of the quickest motion processing technology available with a recorded response time of 20ms, this allows for the seamless and near- instantaneous transmission of motion from headset, to the screen (lag being something that has hindered VR for many years).

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This first generation will only work with a Galaxy Note 4, however it’s very likely that future offerings will allow for cross-device functionality (a similar evolution to their Gear smartwatches). Carmack has assured the public that the Gear VR will be kept up to date with the rest of the Samsung portfolio for the years to come.

Future

The applications for such a device are yet to be known, however with Carmack at the helm it is likely that gaming will push the development of this technology further than it’s potential educational application.

We are excited to see what this new branch of mobile technology will bring and we will, of course, keep you up to date with all the developments.

Stay tuned for the an in-depth look at the Note 4, and more from IFA, later this week.

 




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