03
Sep
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As expected, Samsung has taken the lid off the Gear VR headset at this year's IFA in Berlin. The concept behind the company's attempt at virtual reality consists of pairing a Galaxy Note 4 with a bulky head unit, using the handset to supply both the display and the power. The product comes from Samsung, but its software has been created by Oculus. An early-access beta version is set to become available for eager techies and developers later this year.

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Just as the name suggests, the Innovator Edition is not intended for general consumers. Samsung wants to get this hardware into the hands of early adopters and developers so that they can get to work. The device is powered by the Oculus Mobile SDK, which is detailed more extensively on the company's blog. Here are a few software highlights.

Gear VR's Oculus Software:

  • Oculus Home is a simple interface for connecting to the Oculus Store, where you can discover, download, and launch VR content.
  • Oculus Cinema is a virtual movie theater, where you can playback your favorite 2D and 3D movies in a variety of theater environments.
  • Oculus 360 Videos and Oculus 360 Photos are experiences that allow you to playback panoramic content in VR.

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The Gear VR headset is a white piece of hardware that uses a horizontal and a vertical strap to hold on to a wearer's head. Users can interact with it using a touchpad, a back button, and a volume key. The complete package isn't exactly sleek, but it at least looks like a finished product that could serve as a very geeky computer or video game add-on.

Update: Imanji Studios has already announced a version of Temple Run for us with the Gear VR.

TRVR_Screenshot04 TRVR_Screenshot03 TRVR_Screenshot05

Here are some additional specs to sink your teeth into:

Optical Lens: 96˚ Field of View

Sensor: Accelerator, Gyrometer, Magnetic, Proximity

Motion to Photon Latency: < 20ms

Focal Adjustment: Covers Nearsighted / Farsighted Eyes

Interpupillary Distance Coverage: 55 ~ 71 mm

Physical User Interface: Touch Pad, Back Button, Volume Key

Connection: microUSB 1.1 connection to the Galaxy Note 4

Headset Dimensions: 198(W) x 116(L) x 90(H)mm

GearVR

Along with the included software, the unit will come with a 16GB microSD card containing a collection of 360-degree videos and 3D movie trailers.

Look for more information to crop up in the weeks ahead.

Bertel King, Jr.
Born and raised in the rural South, Bertel knows what it's like to live without 4G LTE - or 3G, for that matter. The only things he likes sweeter than his tea are his gadgets, and while few objects burn more than a metal phone on a summer day, he prefers them that way anyway.

  • Brad

    it's 2014 and this is where we're at... FFS

    • andy_o

      Where are we?

      • Brad

        1980's strap on VR displays. Virtuaboy 2.0

        • RMBRKFLD

          Where should we be? Hover boards have been released, now what

        • andy_o

          So this, Oculus Rift, and the Sony one are going to fail within, let's say, a year from release?

  • Rami

    But this does not have a display in itself, it depends on a Note 4, right? so if the unit comes with 16GB storage and movie trailers how are you going to watch them without a device ?

    • Chris Oh

      It says you put the microsd that comes with, into your Note 4.

  • mustbepbs
    • Marius Rye

      We're so fucked

      • mustbepbs

        Yes, yes we are.

      • RMBRKFLD

        Does that even work as a joke? Meme-eh

    • Kevin

      Brace yourselves... pink eyes are coming.

  • https://plus.google.com/108596272537415356460/posts Jason Farrell

    FYI: Gear VR isn't much better than Google Cardboard, because it relies on your phone's limited sensors for laggy, motion-sickness-inducing head tracking.

    Gear VR will only serve to sour the first VR experience for many people. People who've used an Oculus Rift can attest to this.

    • Adrian Meredith

      yeah for me occulus was a love hate experience (to be fair wasn't very well at the time so that didn't). Firstly it was amazing, the responsiveness of the head tracking was very impressive I definitely felt presence at times (my stomach went when i looked down in the skydiving demo). My main issue was the poor quality screen so the note will at least fix that. That said however, a latency of 20ms sound really bad

      • Toss3

        It's under 20ms and Carmack has been involved with the software himself, so this is almost guaranteed to provide a similar experience to the real rift.

  • Arch9

    does it only compatible with note 4?

    • Chris Oh

      yes...unfortunately no Note Edge...

  • Colin Richardson

    USB 1.1? Manufactorers need to start charging out the nose for 1.1 chips, hell even make it 2.0 so people will get with the times!

    • Toss3

      The Note 4 has support for MicroUSB 2 so I think that's just a typo.

    • Sergii Pylypenko

      It's only used for 3 buttons and touch panel on the headset, quite adequate as for me.

  • Rahul Nebhnani

    tech just starts to become freaky at this point

  • Dudeofdur

    I think this is a right step in the direction of getting virtual porn to themasses.

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