Samsung is to launch a virtual reality headset at the IFA 2014 event in September, with leaked details suggesting the Gear VR will be an add-on accessory for the company's Galaxy family of Android-powered smartphones.
The Samsung Gear VR will be, according to this image leaked to SamMobile, a docking device for Galaxy-brand smartphones to enable an immersive VR experience.
While hints that the company has been looking into the realm of virtual reality have been leaking over the past few months, details of its precise plan have been thin on the ground. An anonymous leak to company-watcher SamMobile
, however, has finally spilled the beans - and people expecting a rival to the Oculus Rift or Sony's Project Morpheus may be disappointed.
According to details obtained by the site, the Gear VR won't feature any display hardware at all. Instead, users will dock their Galaxy smartphones into the front of the device where they will act as the display, with the image being split and modified by a pair of lenses between the phone and the viewer's eyes. If that sounds familiar, it should: that's the very concept behind Google Cardboard, the advertising giant's recently-unveiled do-it-yourself VR headset project.
Where Gear VR and Google Cardboard differ is in the polish of the finished product. SamMobile's leaked image shows a comfortable-looking plastic construction with an elasticated band and padding for the temples and forehead. The software side, meanwhile, is reportedly being handled by Oculus Rift creator Oculus VR in a partnership with Samsung.
Samsung, as is to be expected, has not commented on the leak, but is expected to unveil the Gear VR headset in September at the IFA 2014 event. Pricing is not yet available, but with no display hardware there's a good chance that the company will be able to significantly undercut its rivals.