At IFA 2014, Samsung introduced its new gadgets including Gear VR, a virtual reality headset. It uses a Galaxy Note 4 to generate virtual reality and without phablet, the price reaches $200.
Samsung Gear VR is the future project of Samsung’s Company concerning virtual reality, one of the most exciting fields nowadays. At the IFA 2014 conference, the company said Gear VR uses a Galaxy Note 4 to generate images but did not release an official price. VentureBeat informs us that the headset will cost 200 $.
Samsung Galaxy Note 4 is expected to cost almost $700, so that the whole headset could reach 1,000 $ or maybe more, depending on the version of Note 4 you choose.
What do you get for this money?
Gear VR is rather a plastic casing, which includes two lenses and elastic to secure it on the user’s head. Inside it are four sensors (accelerometer, gyroscope, magnetometer, and a proximity sensor), which are connected to Note 4 through a USB 1.1 interface. Like Rift Oculus device, it’s possible to set the distance of the eye lens, to compensate the user’s diopters who wears glasses.
Latency is a highly discussed topic when it comes to virtual reality, and Samsung boasts with a time response of less than 20 MS from the movement time till the display post. The lens offers 90 degrees field of view, and for easier control of the phone, while using it, they added volume buttons, a “back” button, and a touch panel.
When the phone is connected to VR Gear, common functions are switched off, entering a special profile for virtual reality. Therefore you can use its entire processing power, without the usual frequency fluctuations and without other applications, from the background, that otherwise would consume precious resources. QHD display of the Galaxy Note 4 becomes the display for the new VR headset, offering a resolution even higher than the one offered by Oculus VR to Oculus Rift DK2 (1920 x 1080 pixels).
The legendary programmer John Carmack (responsible for the series of games Wolfenstein, Doom, and Quake) was directly involved in this project. He tread the boards at IFA to talk about the Oculus VR technologies developed along with Samsung.
The device will be compatible with games running on the engine of Unreal Engine 4. This means that games like Unreal Tournament or Tekken 7 will be compatible with the device created by Samsung.
This is good news for fans of virtual reality and the popularity of Samsung’s Gear VR headset will definitely increase after this movement.
But not only Gear VR will take advantage of Unreal Engine 4. Project Tango from Google is also included on the list of compatible devices along with Unreal Engine 4.
The Project Tango gadget comes in the form of a smartphone or a tablet and is heeled with a number of special cameras that bring a whole new dimension to the augmented reality.
These cameras are able to accurately analyze the depth of a room and the spatial placement of objects, and the games could get some unique capabilities of augmented reality.
Gear VR will be launched in 2014 and will come at a price of about 200 dollars/euro. This new gadget will be called the Samsung Gear VR: Innovator Edition and it comes with a micro SD card filled with technology demonstrations. Obviously, this is not a product for everyone, the audience targets are the virtual reality enthusiasts, professionals may find practical applications for this technology, as well as developers of applications and games.
Update, February 09, 2017
The Samsung Gear VR has since been launched with great success, some other companies have also launched all kinds of VR headsets. The Samsung gadget can be bought from Amazon for anywhere from $80 to $250 and is something you won`t regret getting. More and more apps for these devices are launched on a daily basis so you surely won’t get bored if you own one.