Just after announcing the Galaxy Note 4 and Galaxy Note Edge, Samsung took the covers off its very first virtual reality headset that it developed using the technical expertise of Oculus VR, which is now a Facebook company. The Samsung Gear VR Innovator Edition shows the future of mobile virtual reality. The Gear VR uses the Galaxy Note 4’s Quad HD low-persistence 5.7 inch 1440p AMOLED screen as the display and even uses the phablet’s processor and graphics to run applications. Since you plug-in the phablet to the Gear VR itself with the help of its microUSB port, you can now have a wireless VR experience. You might remember Oculus Rift has to be wired in to PCs.
Oculus CEO John Carmack wearing Gear VR
The team headed by Oculus CEO John Carmack split their efforts in developing the Oculus Mobile SDK and optimising Android and its graphics for virtual reality. The Gear VR as compared to the Rift is able to support low-persistence display mode for improved comfort, visual stability and reduced motion blur or judder, enable custom calibrated sensors to talk to a dedicated kernel driver, offer context prioritized GPU rendering enabling asynchronous time warp and facilitate completely unbuffered display surfaces for minimal latency. All this makes for an accurate and ultra low-latency virtual reality experience. The Gear VR Innovator Edition has four new experiences built by Oculus such as Oculus Home (Oculus Store viewer), Oculus Cinema (virtual movie theatre for viewing 2D and 3D movies), Oculus 360 Videos and Oculus 360 Photos for playing panoramic content. Samsung too adds some VR content whose details can be found in this press release.
Coming to the technical details, the Gear VR provides a 96 degree of view and houses accelerator, gyrometer, magnetic and proximity sensors. The motion to photon latency is less than 20ms. This means that the time duration from your head movement to its virtual reality effect is less than 20ms. If you use spectacles no problem, the Gear VR is able to change its focal adjustment for near and farsighted eyes. Physical controls include a touchpad, back button and volume key. To enjoy the preloaded contents stored in the 16GB microSD card included in the box you need external headphones.
Finally we have to deliver the bad news: customers cannot buy the Gear VR just yet as the Innovator Edition is an early-access, beta-version of the device for developers and enthusiasts. While this will be available in Frost White variant at an undisclosed price this fall, consumer edition is still far away. So what do you think of the Gear VR and how it stacks up against Sony's Project Morpheus let us know in the comment section below.
Source: Oculus and Samsung
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