Samsung may unveil 'Gear VR' virtual reality headset at IFA 2014

Along with smartwatches, manufacturers have begun investing time in other wearables segments like virtual reality headsets too. While Sony is working on Project Morpheus and Facebook sent ripples across the tech world after acquiring Oculus Rift, Samsung is also rumoured to be working on a virtual reality headset.


A report by SamMobile now confirms that Samsung is working on a virtual reality headset, and plans to name it 'Gear VR'. The report states that the device will be announced alongside the Galaxy Note 4 at the IFA consumer electronics trade show to be held in Berlin in September.


Unlike the Oculus, the Gear VR won't be a completely standalone virtual reality headset. The company has reportedly developed a modular design that will allow users to dock in a Galaxy device into the Gear VR via USB 3.0. The virtual reality effect will be achieved through head tracking, and the company will also employ its AMOLED display technology. The headset will rely on sensors integrated in the smartphone to track motion, instead of integrating the sensors directly in the headset.


"This design should allow Samsung to massively cut down manufacturing costs and introduce the headset at a low cost. However, it’s Samsung, and Samsung usually doesn’t like to equip its first product in a new product category with an inexpensive price tag. You might say that this is exactly like Google’s Cardboard VR headset, which was handed out to I/O 14 attendees, and you would be right! The main concept behind Gear VR is the same," states the report.


The Gear VR is likely to come with an elastic head band and soft padded cushions on each side to ensure that it's comfortable to wear.


Talking further about the design, the report reveals that we can expect a 'see-through button' on the right side. It uses the smartphone’s rear-facing camera sensor to offer a video feed of the real outside world. This is said to be the distinguishing factor from others like Oculus, and Sony as users won't have to remove and wear the headset again and again. One will also find a touchpad under the see-through button to navigate through the user interface on the Galaxy smartphone.


While the hardware is developed by Sony, it has been working with Oculus VR for the software. It also plans to build a separate section of Samsung apps just for the headset. Soon after the announcement at the IFA, Samsung will reportedly make the Gear VR SDK available to developers.

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