updated 08:20 pm EDT, Tue July 8, 2014
Samsung's foray into virtual reality named 'Gear VR,' to be announced with Note 4
New information on Samsung's virtual reality (VR) headset was leaked today, according to Sammobile. The company claims that a new photo of the device was found, indicating that it's closer to the Google cardboard VR accessory rather than a full headset like the Oculus Rift. The publication says that the Gear VR should be announced during Internationale Funkausstellung (IFA) 2014 in September.
Sammobile alleges that the Gear VR features a USB 3.0 dock that uses a cable to connect to a Galaxy device. Utilizing the modular design, the headset takes advantage of the smartphone's accelerometer, gyroscope and power plant to track the head movements. A big benefit to the device is that it can use the AMOLED screens found in modern Galaxy devices for a clear picture.
The downside to the design is that the Gear VR isn't a standalone device, meaning that, according to the publication's information, users need to own one of a handful of premium Samsung smartphones to go along with it. This may limit the potential for early adopters.
By creating a device without its own sensors and processing power, Samsung is able to manufacturer the device at a lower price than a full-blown VR headset. Gear VR is a product developed by Samsung, but the company had some help from Oculus VR for the software.
In the mock-up photo that the publication obtained, the diagram showing the first glimpse of the Gear VR shows a "see through button" and a touchpad on the side. The button allows users to trigger the rear facing camera of a device to see live video outside of the headset. Navigation of the phone is handled through the touchpad.
It's said that the Gear VR is going to be announced alongside the Galaxy Note 4 this September during IFA 2014. Samsung is allegedly going to release a set of apps to go along with the device. The SDK is said to be available shortly after the announcement.
News of Samsung's headset first broke in May when Engadget reported on its development from an unnamed source. The report also stated the headset would be announced this year.