Samsung has joined hands with Oculus to bring a $99 virtual-reality headset that goes on sale later this fall. The duo unveiled the headset dubbed as ‘Samsung Gear VR’ at a media event in Los Angeles on Thursday, which has the power to bring ‘virtual reality into the mainstream.’
The upcoming Gear VR headset will be compatible with a slew of Samsung smartphones which include the Galaxy Note 5 along with the Galaxy S6, Galaxy S6 Edge and Galaxy S6 Edge+, aimed at giving users an immersive multimedia experience.
“Samsung has been at the forefront of delivering mobile experiences and ‘Gear VR Innovator Edition’ launched last year was no exception,” said JK Shin, CEO and President of IT & Mobile Division, Samsung Electronics. “We see virtual reality as the next computing platform, and we are thrilled to partner with Oculus on Gear VR to set the standard for mobile VR and bring this revolutionary product to consumers.”
The headset is 22 percent lighter than its previous iteration – the Gear VR Innovator Edition. According to Samsung, Gear VR’s touchpad has been significantly overhauled with improved responsiveness, thereby giving users precise control while playing games and other multimedia content.
The Gear VR houses a trackpad, a back button along with motion sensors to perform gyroscopic and acceleration functions. Users can dock their smartphones inside the headset using microUSB connectivity, giving them access to vivid and deeper gaming and movie experiences.
While as far virtual reality content is concerned, Samsung announced that it has teamed up Twentieth Century Fox and Lions Gate Entertainment to bring content to its Gear VR, including blockbusters such as Alien Trilogy, Pulp Fiction along with the Hunger Games series. Talking about games, Oculus has announced a partnership to bring Minecraft to the platform while other new additions on the Gear VR include the Netflix app, with apps for Vimeo, Hulu and Twitch expected to arrive soon.
The Samsung Gear VR will be available for $99 later this fall in ‘Frost White’ color option.
Meanwhile, the upcoming Oculus Rift VR headset is expected to go on sale in the first quarter of 2016, technical details of which sound rather intriguing. It’ll feature dual AMOLED displays with low-persistence specially designed for VR, said Oculus back in June when it revealed more details about its upcoming Rift VR headset. The company promises that the display will offer “incredible visual clarity” as users explore virtual worlds with the headgear.
Other technical details revealed include an infrared LED constellation tracking system that offers precise, low-latency 360-degree orientation and position tracking for users while using the Rift. In addition, it’ll include an integrated VR audio system for the most immersive experience possible.
Recent studies suggest that head mounted virtual- reality display gadgets have an immense potential, with about 65 million units expected to be shipped by 2020.
“We see virtual reality as the next computing platform,” Shin added in the press release.