Samsung Gear VR Gets Some Candid Coverage

We have seen a few interesting virtual reality interpretations through the years.  Nintendo used the Virtual Boy to show us 'alternate realities' in red and give migraines to all.  Google Glass brought and carries the market for modern smart eye accessories, with the screen above your right eye.  But what if you want to look normal, not feeling self-conscious about your nifty wearable technology?  Well, Samsung and the new Gear device which leaked again today might be an answer to the problem of unappealing eye-tech.

The Samsung Gear VR is said to be the South Korean manufacturer's Next Big Thing, to quote their famous saying, and it might show itself at IFA in Berlin.  The headset has been rumored for a while, around mid-July as some might recall, and it seems to be an interesting item, based on today's images.  The device is not going to look anything like what we might expect from Samsung, and will look rather interesting.

Now, the leak came into the Chinese site caf©.naver.com and it came with some various information and pictures of, reportedly, production models of the headset from Korea.  The device looks like something we haven't seen before, but will likely be sold to us well, as customers.  We also got a certification sheet for the RRA, with some other miscellaneous information.  From the shot of the certification, we see the device is from 'Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd.' with the name 'Gear VR' and model number 'SM-R320', as well as a certification date for the device, and that is today, the 22 of August, so yesterday or earlier today for any of our Asian readers.  Back to the device, though.

The few shots we got from the leak is show the device with a very metallic front 'lens', as well as some odd-looking bits sticking out of the top and bottom of some of the lenses off the the left of the shot.  And to prove the manufacturer, the photographer snapped a picture of the Samsung logo across the top of the lens.

Also included in the original posting of these shots are some screenshots from SamMobile showing off the companion app for the Gear VR.  The app looks like most Samsung apps, with some flat colors and that non-Google-looking aqua throughout the app.  But the interesting part is something that the app calls 'See-Through', which seems self-explanatory, and it is.  You long-press the back button, which is on a touchpad on the right side of the headset to 'leave the virtual world' and see through the Gear VR like 'normal' (whatever normal is for looking through a phone camera.  A short-press on the pad will resume the virtuality, so that's convenient.  What's sad to see though is, in the screenshots, there is mention of S-Voice, so that feature is almost certain to lag or be inaccurate.

Regardless of how the device works or looks, it will be interesting to see how Samsung markets such a limited-compatibility piece of likely-expensive companion hardware, and what the response of the tech community will be after its announcement.  Are you interested to see exactly the implementation of the Gear VR, or do not really care as much, since Samsung likes to keep its toys within its 'walled garden of S'?  Let us know which announcement at IFA, from any manufacturer, you are most excited to see.

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Phil Bourget

Staff Writer
Using Android since 2012 and the Galaxy S III, I'm now running a Nexus 5 paired to a Moto 360 to keep updated on the Internet of stuff. Usually found on Google+ or in class.