You could be forgiven for feeling a little shell-shocked with the amount of announcements we’ve covered the last couple of days. From last night’s Motorola event in Chicago, the Asus ZenWatch and Samsung’ s usual glut of new products ranging from the 2 new Galaxy Note 4 handsets to the Gear S smart watch and even Android-powered printers. What we are discussing here is the Gear VR device that you can see in the picture above and the nicely detailed infographic below. In case you missed it, the Samsung Gear VR is a new type of Virtual Reality(VR) smart wear that Samsung have developed in partnership with Oculus Rift. Yes, that Oculus Rift that was recently purchased by Facebook. It’s intended use is for watching movies or playing games, activities that would really benefit from the 360 degree viewing experience. Samsung is also hoping that the Gear VR will be useful for educational purposes.
The Gear VR isn’t a standalone product, it requires a Galaxy Note 4 in order to operate. You remove the front cover of the Gear VR and clip the Note 4 into it, in front of the dual-lenses, making sure to snap it in to the USB connector(gently of course). Then you replace the front cover that will provide protection for the Note 4 during its time in the Gear VR. After that, you can take what looks to be a pair of over-sized ski-goggles and place it over your head. Handily, in addition to the standard side straps, there is also a strap that reaches the top of the headset, reaching all the way over your head to join the side-straps. It should make for a very stable experience, reducing the fear of the VR device(and indeed the Galaxy Note 4) flying off into a corner when you are moving your head sharply.
You can use the Gear VR headset to watch 3D content, thanks to the binocular-esque eye-holes, while taking advantage of the 96 degree Field-of View (FOV). And if that isn’t quite immersive enough for you, you can swivel your head (either like an owl or by moving the rest of your body as well) to enjoy a 360 degree viewing experience. So the Gear VR consists of two lenses, there are ventilation holes to guard against the lenses fogging up with condensation, and there’s a proximity sensor that tells the set its being worn. Navigation is performed with the back button and touch pad on the right of the headset, which also carries the volume buttons. Also on the right side is a Focal Adjustment wheel, which will help achieve avoid any blurriness which will be down to everyone’s face having different measurements, bigger or smaller noses, deep sunk eyes, you get the picture. On the left hand side, there’s a phone lock.
All-in-all, the Gear VR looks like an intriguing piece of hardware, and I can’t wait for a member of our team to get their grubby hands on it to review it. Samsung was understandably coy about pricing, but they did say that they expect it to become available for the Christmas Holiday Season. So you if you would like one, now is the time to start hinting to your nearest and dearest. Is the Samsung Gear VR something that would interest you? Considering that it is only compatible with the Galaxy Note 4 handset. or will you rather wait to see what Oculus Rift bring to the table in the coming months? let us know in the comments below or at our Google Plus page.