Virtual reality seems to be all the rage these days. All sorts of companies, big and small – from large corporate giants like Samsung to small tech-startups like Oculus are all investing time, money and energy in designing, developing and eventually manufacturing and marketing virtual-reality products. When the smartphone became mainstream just a few years ago, few could have predicted the explosion of smart products that was about to be unleashed upon us by technology companies and consumer electronics manufacturers alike. Smartphones were just the tip of the iceberg. The trickle since, has turned into a torrent, with tablets, fitness trackers, smartwatches, smart glasses – you name it and some giant corporation or the other is burning the midnight oil over it, trying to create yet another category of those ‘must-have’ gadgets.
Virtual Reality (VR) is one such category, that has caught the fancy of many over the past couple of years. Samsung, one of the largest and most recognizable consumer electronics companies in the world and the largest manufacturer of smartphones, has also thrown their hat in the ring. They had originally launched their first generation virtual reality headset – the Gear VR – last year, to be paired up with the Galaxy Note 4. Now, they have shown off their reworked Gear VR headset that will be compatible with the Galaxy S6 and the S6 Edge. The headset is a smaller, lighter version of the previous edition that was meant for the Note 4, having been redesigned for compatibility with the S6 twins. Samsung claims that the redesigned straps sit “more comfortably” on the head and it also comes with its own microUSB port to avoid hogging power from the attached smartphone. Another difference from the previous version is that, this one comes with a built-in mechanical fan for better airflow which will aid both the comfort factor of the wearer as well as prevent the lens from fogging up.
Samsung did not divulge the price, but it is expected to retain its $200 price tag that it originally came with for the Note 4 compatible version. It will be available online for pre-order from April 24 onwards in the US from Best Buy, and at brick and mortar retail outlets from May 15th. It will compete in the market with HTC’s Vive headset, Oculus’ Rift headset and Sony’s upcoming Project Morpheus headset.