Friday 24 October 2014

Gear VR: Samsung 'to launch virtual reality headset' in September

Sophie Curtis

Published 09/07/2014 | 16:02

Back To The Future: The Oculus Rift is still in development, but it’ll be big
Samsung's device would be a competitor for Facebook's Oculus Rift (pictured)

Samsung is reportedly planning to launch a virtual reality headset, similar to Facebook's Oculus Rift, at the IFA 2014 trade show in September

Reports emerged earlier this year that the company was working on a new virtual reality headset powered by existing Samsung devices, including the flagship Galaxy S5.

Engadget reported in May that the new device is likely to feature an OLED screen, numerous cameras positioned towards the player's face and a wireless connection to the device powering it.

Now Samsung blog SamMobile claims that the headset will be called the 'Gear VR', and will be unveiled at IFA 2014, alongside the Galaxy Note 4.

"Instead of making a completely standalone virtual reality headset, Samsung has developed a modular design, which allows the user to dock in a Galaxy device into the Gear VR using USB 3.0," the blog reports.

"Virtual reality effect is achieved through head tracking, and instead of equipping the headset with sensors, Gear VR makes use of the smartphone’s accelerometer, gyroscope and processing power to track head motion."

The Gear VR reportedly features a transparent button, which uses the smartphone’s rear-facing camera to supply the user with a video feed of the outside world. There is also a touchpad that will allow users to navigate through the user interface on the Galaxy smartphone.

A new virtual headset would put Samsung in direct competition with Facebook's Oculus Rift and Sony's Project Morpheus, as well as Google's Cardboard virtual reality headset, which consists of a flat-pack kit to turn a smartphone into a pair of goggles.

However, SamMobile reports that the software for Samsung's headset is being developed in cooperation with Oculus VR, which makes Oculus Rift.

It is thought that the most probable purpose for the headset would be to enhance mobile gaming, although it could also be used for immersive experience videos.

Telegraph.co.uk

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