Samsung Reveals Mobile Virtual Reality Headset - Gear VR

Smartphone giant partners with Oculus VR to create headset that incorporates the Galaxy Note 4; Release due this year.

Click any of the images below to view in gallery mode.

Samsung officially joined the virtual reality hardware race on Wednesday by formally revealing the Gear VR.

Gear VR stands out for its use of the newly revealed Galaxy Note 4. The enlarged smartphone slots into the helmet's micro-USB dock and acts as the screen.

Paired with the helmet's adjustable lenses, which are built into the headset, the Galaxy Note 4's accelerometer and gyrometer are used to track head movement, thus creating a virtual reality impression.

Together these parts create a unique wireless VR headset that doesn't need to be tied to a PC, though it also means the Gear VR cannot yet measure depth.

According to a preview by Engadget, the lack of depth is a particular negative aspect, as is the Note's relatively low processing and graphical capabilities.

The software for Gear VR was created by Oculus VR, the pioneering team that sparked the rebirth of virtual reality with its Oculus Rift headset.

According to an update on the Oculus Blog, the whole initiative began "as an experiment to see if great VR was possible on next-generation mobile hardware".

It added: "Oculus CTO John Carmack and the mobile team at Oculus were able to blow everyone away in an extremely short amount of time, quickly proving that we were on to something special."

Samsung says an early 'Innovation Edition' of the Gear VR will launch across North America this year. Exact release times, and international plans, have yet to be revealed.

The Galaxy Note 4 provides a 5.7 inch 1440p screen, while the Oculus Mobile SDK is said to optimise the smartphone's GPU.

One key feature for the new headset is Oculus Cinema - a virtual movie theater, allowing users to play their favorite 2D and 3D movies in a variety of theater environments.

The Oculus team was also keen to state that work on the mobile project "doesn’t change our plans for the Rift or our commitment to (and love for) the PC".

Rob Crossley is a news editor at GameSpot, and you can follow him on Twitter @rob_crossley_
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crossleyrob

Rob Crossley

Rob Crossley is GameSpot's UK News Editor. He is being forced to use Oxford commas.
83 comments
crushbrain
crushbrain

VR is nothing but a cell phone attached to goggles and this product proves it. Have fun y'all!

pimphand_gamer
pimphand_gamer

I just want VR for 2 reasons. One is so that I don't have to be tethered to a TV nor need an extra TV just for gaming. I don't really care about the head tracking, just being able to sit where ever and play without a big screen would be nice.

And 2 to have some decent 3D but not sure if it's actually going to be better than gaming with 3D TV's or if games will require to be native 3D designed to work as good.

oldtobie
oldtobie

I expect many brands to start coming out with VR sets.  I see them as a future replacement/alternative to a monitor rather than a specific peripheral.  You don't need a Sony TV to use your PS4, and there are MANY different brands of monitors that people can choose from.  Then again, I could be wrong and we could end up with a bunch of competition and division that severely hinders the actual progression of the device.

TERMINATOR-SSD
TERMINATOR-SSD

well i will be getting the Note 4 thats for sure. But this looks cool. Would be amazing to see VR type games for this. Like that Star Wars turret game using this thing would be amazing. BlueTooth it up with a controller and BOOM.


Even full real time 3d augmented reality games with this could be possible as it could use the rear camera as well. Like a shooting gallery or something. Or even having full 3D worlds / areas that you can explore using this headset.

drybones41
drybones41

So... just shove that tablet into there and viola, VR.

lilflipp
lilflipp

Everyone's making a VR set. xD

I can't wait to see these obscure brands coming out with their VR sets.

Windmere, Even Colgate or Gillette.

They're going to add tiny bluetooth cameras to their razors/tooth brush, which can then be accessed by putting their VR set on and brush our teeth with extra precision, and get the closest shave ever with their new Gillette Matrix Razors, comes with 12 blades, bluetooth camera, an Iphone charging dock and a bottle opener.


VR is totally the future guys.

ojmstr
ojmstr

"Samsung sends chock waves through the apple stock on wall street" Read it in the newspaper today

crashmer
crashmer

A dock in the face. Brilliant!

Garm31
Garm31

They forgot to talk about Samsung Gear VR's most distinguishing feature. It's ability to r.a.p.e your wallet dry. This is a pseudo VR experience. I'll wait for the real thing and save hundreds of Euros.


That's €680 for Galaxy note 4 and about €100-€150 or more, for the crappy Gear VR accessory.

Sevenizz
Sevenizz

Has Samsung ever innovated anything? Or do they just rip everyone off?

xantufrog
xantufrog

I'm not saying phone-powered VR is the greatest thing - of course the hardware in the phones can't run software that a high-end PC could. But people thinking this is just going to show candy crush or email in 3D or whatever should do some reading around - there are actual 3D games and neat apps that cater to the "cardboard" style tech, and some OR developed software is being ported to android as well for such purposes. So there are "actual" VR things you can do. Tether your PS3 or favorite controller to your phone and you can have a modest VR experience, which is pretty impressive, really

btbrotherton
btbrotherton

Samsung will probably set up their TVs to stream picture to their phones through Allcast. Obviously this isn't being set up just for phone games. They could also do a deal with Steam, who already has local streaming. Though even a minor delay could be nauseating on VR.

The resolution is higher than the DK2, so that's a decent advantage.

mike300zxt
mike300zxt

Just watched the video of old people reacting to the Oculus VR.  Even they knew it's the future.  And while this isn't the model for me, it's definitely a step on the road to the future.  A few more years and we'll all be pining for the latest and greatest VR headset.  The tech isn't to the level I'd want yet, but it will get there quickly, no doubt.

amaneuvering
amaneuvering

Having the movie theater "skin" built in by default is a great move. I hope all VR companies do this, for free.

ganonshin
ganonshin

I been reading some of the comments down below. Some (most) of the comments are from proper dumb asses, lol. No ones is forcing you to buy it.


ps i dont care what you think, lol.

93ChevyNut
93ChevyNut

Umm... why?  So I can surf the web or read email using a simulated 100" screen?

jameshubert12
jameshubert12

more useless head gear...put it in the trash can its garbage...

Shadownk
Shadownk

don't want anything from samsung

nbf4548
nbf4548

Price. Price. Price.  What is the price?  

bdrtfm
bdrtfm

I had to check the date on my PC - thought I slept in 6 months and that it may be April 1st. Like Candy Crush really needs a VR version. Epic Fail. Must be nice to have money to burn.

abcdefgabcdefgz
abcdefgabcdefgz

@crushbrain So if you taped your phone to goggles you think that would work the same way? These companies wasted a whole lot of money and time. Maybe you should tell them

ArchoNils2
ArchoNils2

@pimphand_gamer It is much much much better than a 3D tv. OC Rift dk 2 > >>OCR dk1 >>>>> 3D with polarized light >> 3D with shutter. I tried it all

tranceology3
tranceology3

@Sevenizz Samsung didn't steal from anyone. This is a joint partnership with Oculus, you know the guys that are bringing the Oculus Rift. Samsung has made a deal with Oculus to provide the screens and Oculus in turn makes the VR software. But....you do say some truth, Samsung did not innovate this, it came from Oculus. 

merrickx
merrickx

@xantufrog There's already quite a few great games, that smaller devs in the tight-knit Oculus follower community, have been around for a couple years that are amazing games, and those devs are ensuring they come to Samsung's VR.

Sevenizz
Sevenizz

VR wows trade shows - and that's about it. It's been around for about 30 years and consumers just don't care.

mike300zxt
mike300zxt

@Sevenizz  PS. Lol at your iPhone 1 comment. That was 2007.  Smart phones started in the 90s.  It takes time for tech to catch on with those that don't understand it.  Make no doubt, VR is coming, and it will be huge.

mike300zxt
mike300zxt

@Sevenizz  Ahh, living in the past eh?  There was no consumer demand for computers when they first arrived. Nor for smart phones.  Now there are billions of them and almost everyone has one.  VR will be massive.  Most people don't even understand all of the possible uses.

As soon as high-quality commercial models arrive with compelling applications and games, the market will take off.  To say consumers don't care is kind of silly and short-sighted.  There isn't even a high-quality consumer model with apps and games that is readily available at a fair price yet.  The consumer VR market is coming... 

Sevenizz
Sevenizz

Do you know what a smartphone is? Because I don't think you do.

Sevenizz
Sevenizz

Lol, 'no demand for smartphones'. Tell that to the Iphone 1 line ups and retailers trying to stock up everytime a new IPhone is released.

mike300zxt
mike300zxt

@Sevenizz  You should try Google my friend.  Microsoft PocketPC was used on smart phones as early as 2002, 5 years before the first iPhone.  There were also offerings from Palm and Blackberry, long before there was iOS of Android.  Apple and Google might be the biggest players in smart phones today, but they were also very late to the party.  They did not start the smartphone market.

This is exactly what we'll see with VR.  Early products pave the way, with mass adoption to follow as the market and the tech matures.

Sevenizz
Sevenizz

Those weren't smartphones - they were pocket PCs and digital assistants. They couldn't even fit into a pocket and mostly didn't even make calls.

mike300zxt
mike300zxt

@Sevenizz  Pocket PC is a Microsoft phone OS that was used by Samsung, HP and others.  Palm and BlackBerry also made SmartPhone OSes, and there were others.  There were numerous small, light smartphones available well before the iPhone.  Many even had touch screens, LONG before the iPhone.  I had an HP touch screen smart phone, and a Samsung, and both ran Pocket PC, and did everything the iPhone 1 did long before the iPhone 1 existed.  And the Samsung was over an oz lighter than the iPhone.

Sorry buddy, but you can't redefine what a smartphone is to suit your argument.  Many of us had smartphones years before Apple and Google entered the market.

Sevenizz
Sevenizz

I had an HP Jordana and trust me - it had no phone capability.

No consumer product could do what an IPhone could do for it's size. The Treo came close - but it didn't take off and had a lousy UI.

Jdzspace
Jdzspace

@Sevenizz - I had a pocket PC , and it was absolutely a smartphone, back in 2000. 

it made calls, it did everything a phone did plus had a stylus and so much more. 


iphone was nowhere NEAR the first smartphone. not even CLOSE. the only difference is that they called the programs they ran "apps" instead of....you know, programs. 

hystavito
hystavito

@Jdzspace @Sevenizz Heh the old "apps" and "programs" thing, yeah it kinda bugs me too, we're old and outdated I guess.  I always wonder, how many people out there in our mobile device world even know that app comes from application.


I wonder if the programmers of today who grew up after the explosion of mobile write say a little script or something and call it an app.  I'm not saying that's bad, lingo changes whatever, I'm just curious.