Samsung enters the virtual reality race

Written by David Hing

September 4, 2014 | 11:38

Tags: #android #gear-vr

Companies: #oculus #oculus-rift #samsung

Samsung has thrown its hat into the virtual reality arena with the announcement of Gear VR, an Android-based virtual reality headset.

The device was announced during the Unpakced press event and Samsung revealed that it has been working with Oculus to build the headset. Due to the partnership, this will allow Oculus better access to Samsung screens for its own Rift headset.

The headset will require the recently announced Samsung Galaxy Note 4 which will slot into the headset. A prototype made available for developers is expected to launch by the end of the year.

’The deep technical partnership with Samsung has enabled us to create a virtual reality headset with world class resolution and performance, all on a completely mobile platform,’ said Oculus chief technology officer and former Id Software luminary John Carmack.

This mobile virtual reality solution sounds similar to Google’s cardboard-based virtual reality headset which requires an android phone to be slotted into a makeshift headset, albeit more streamlined and better produced. The device boasts lightweight materials and soft flexible cushioning as well as being completely wireless.

Some of the demo apps already developed for the Gear VR include an IMAX simulator, a Cirque du Soleil piece and virtual reality experiences tied in to Marvel’s Avengers: Age of Ultron, Pacific Rim and a range of Dreamworks’ animated characters.

Rock Band developer Harmonix is purportedly already working on something for the Gear VR according to a tweet from publicist Nck Chester, although he only described them as ‘developing software’ so it is unclear whether that constitutes an actual game or a different sort of app.
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