Patent Hints At Possible Roadmap For Samsung's Gear VR

With smart wearables poised to become more mainstream in coming years, Samsung looked to wrest the first-mover advantage by introducing the Gear VR headset last year, for its Galaxy Note 4 and Note Edge handsets. Earlier this year, the Korean giant also announced a slightly modified version of the headset for it Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge devices. Most of the changes were minor tweaks and modifications, but disappointingly for VR fans, nothing major came about by way of hardware upgrades. Nor did either of the two companies behind the product - Samsung Electronics and Oculus VR - push the device enough to try and enter the mind space of the consumer. But that slow and steady approach might be about to change soon if Oculus' Chief Technology Officer (CTO) Mr. John Carmack's latest proclamations are anything to go by. Oculus VR and Samsung Electronics, both it seems believe that the product is well and truly ready for primetime, and hence, are looking to pull out all stops and throw Samsung's money and marketing muscle behind the next generation Gear VR, scheduled to be released later this year during September, when Samsung is expected to announce its fifth generation Galaxy Note phablet.

Meanwhile, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has published the original Gear VR patent which gives readers an insight on what the two companies might have in store by way of increased features and enhanced applications that the headset could be put to, in the future. The blueprint shows the two companies intend to go far beyond immersive gaming with their GearVR headset with innovative new features, which are yet unavailable on the device. The patent reveals the integration of mobile television with the device, and introduction of a health-related application that will need new sensors, which are yet to be incorporated in the device. The document also divulges that the Head Mounted Display (HMD) could be reorganized to rectify blurring of images (as shown in the third image below), and would have provisions to adjust the display horizontally according to the user's eyesight, for aiding visibility and preventing dizziness. The article also points towards the use of a projector-type mechanism to display visuals, alongside other standard modules like sensors, camera, RAM, storage and various connectivity options.

However, one thing to keep in mind is that Samsung filed the patent application as late as Q4, 2014, so even the prototype devices running these features might take some time before being introduced to the press, much less percolate down to consumer grade devices for wider public consumption.

 

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Kishalaya Kundu

Senior Staff Writer
I've always been a tech buff and have been building my own PCs since as far back as I can remember. My first computer was a home-built desktop running MS-DOS on which I learnt to program in GW-BASIC and my interests apart from technology include automobiles and sports.