Samsung, after starting to work hand in hand with Oculus back in 2014, slowly rose to become one of the bigger players in the VR field. With the Samsung Gear VR and whisperings of the upcoming Gear 360 to show for it, their presence on the scene is still strong despite the somewhat limited product lineup. In many ways, the Gear VR came along at just the right time and with just the right quality to set itself as the gold standard that other smartphone VR rigs would be measured against, effortlessly wrestling the torch from Google's own Cardboard platform. While more expensive and exclusive than Cardboard, Gear VR was made to offer a premium smartphone-based VR experience and the public has largely reached a consensus that Samsung has delivered. According to Samsung Mobile exec Koo Yun-mo, there's more to come.
Koo went on to detail some unique use cases for VR, such as showing plans for a building by letting users see the building as it would be once constructed. Acrophobia treatment also came up; a VR rig could simulate a progression from low to high altitudes, possibly easing the fears of somebody who's not fond of heights. Back in December, the Gear VR even got a rudimentary web browser. With all of these use cases, including the common benchmarks of multimedia and gaming, containing VR efforts to the smartphone world is starting to look like the wrong move. According to Koo, "If the opportunity presents itself, we may expand it to other areas, besides just increasing smartphone competitiveness."
There were no details on what the future may hold for Samsung's VR efforts at this time; more information is set to come during Samsung's Unpacked event next week at MWC in Barcelona. Samsung's future efforts are very unlikely to exclude the Gear VR entirely, perhaps even building on it. Speculation has run wild within the industry and even among consumers, especially with the emergence of the Gear 360 VR camera. Samsung has chosen to confirm nothing just yet, opting instead to keep consumers and the industry waiting for Unpacked with bated breath.