Leaked Gear VR Headset to be Shown off at Oculus Developer Conference?
At Google I/O 2014, we saw the company gift attendees with its Cardboard; a makeshift, DIY headset which uses the phone’s sensors and display to provide a budget VR experience.
Samsung’s recently leaked Gear VR Headset can, essentially, be considered a better built version of the device based on the same fundamental principles behind Cardboard.
The device is, reportedly, the result of a collaboration between Oculus and Samsung, with the South Korean giant behind the hardware, and Oculus behind the software. This might seem a little odd, after all, one would think that the Gear VR would compete with the Oculus’ device, the Rift, but it seems Samsung isn’t focusing on gaming with its first foray into the virtual reality market.
This makes sense, as even Oculus has had to resort to an external camera to make the Rift sensitive enough for VR gaming, and such an implementation wouldn’t wouldn’t be practical on Gear VR, which makes use of the user’s smartphone to power the entire experience.
Thus far, the only information that has been leaked is a render of the device provided by SamMobile. The render shows a rather sleek design, with a touchpad on one side to handle navigation; similar to Google Glass.
Allegedly, the Gear VR headset allows the use of the smartphone’s rear camera so that the wearer may see the real world if needed. This feature might be more important than it sounds, as the user would be a lot more mobile with Gear VR compared to the Rift. In future versions, it might be possible that Google’s Project Tango would be used to automatically detect obstructions and alert the wearer, however, this is speculation.
So far, Samsung has yet to comment regarding the leak, but with the first ever Oculus developer conference looming ahead, it’s a very real possibility that we may be in for an official announcements.