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Samsung Launches Virtual Reality Headset For Galaxy Note 4

samzenpus posted about 2 months ago | from the put-it-on-your-head dept.

Cellphones 24

An anonymous reader writes Samsung has launched a virtual reality headset called Samsung Gear VR Innovator Edition. It uses the new Galaxy Note 4 for a screen and technology from Oculus VR. The headset comes with four visual settings that simulate experiences such as sitting in a theater or being on stage. Despite partnering with Oculus, the Gear VR won't run Oculus apps, but Samsung says porting titles over shouldn't be too hard. From the article: "This is Oculus' first consumer product and, bizarrely, it's on a Samsung device. Oculus VR CTO John Carmack personally led the mobile software development team at Oculus, and the software interface is all built in collaboration with Samsung. It's basic: Point a reticle in the middle of the screen at what you want to select and tap the touchpad to select it. The options are sparse and base level, and the only content management that exists right now is a store of sorts. It looks like the Google Play store to an extent, except it's floating in space.

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We're still 6-10 months away (1)

i kan reed (749298) | about 2 months ago | (#47819749)

It's still 6-10 months before any facebook buyout related applications/tech should start to show up. So this is all still "startup trying to find its feet" exploration. We can't yet blame zuckerberg for any nonsense of this sort that occurs.

I don't know... (1)

Junta (36770) | about 2 months ago | (#47819841)

For one to call this 'nonsense' might be a tad unfair. This has some value. I personally want the equipment geared better for interactive gaming, but for non-gaming applications this could fit the bill fine (note they didn't even pretend to show a game, for good reason).

This may be related to the facebook acquisition. It might have been pre-deal influence by Facebook or the thing Facebook found out to make them buy Oculus. I could see facebook betting a bit more money on laying claim to a company that seems to be building a software ecosystem around them with more than one vendor. I wouldn't be surprised if Facebook approaches the likes of Asus, evga, Dell, Lenovo, et al to try to have them take ownership of the PC hardware piece to leave their focus on software enablement.

It's going to be a tough call if they can provide decent ROI on the 2 billion dollar acquisition. They'll need revenue from multiple fronts for something as invasive as this (VR won't be nearly as mainstream as the likes of Zynga games, it's just more of a burden than anything that has really lasted in the industry for the casual user).

Re:I don't know... (1)

i kan reed (749298) | about 2 months ago | (#47819881)

I call it nonsense because there's a real limitation to trying to use a touchscreen with a VR device over your eyes. It's petty, but I just found it rather silly.

Re:I don't know... (2)

Junta (36770) | about 2 months ago | (#47819949)

Well technically the DK2 also has a touchscreen controller... There it's even sillier because it's never to be used and just on there since it's more trouble to rip it off than to leave it in the Samsung phablet part that's in there today.

At least here the device can be pulled out and used independent of the headset, so it makes more sense.

As a 50 dollar accessory for a note 4, it would be within the realm of reason. More than that and they are insane.

If I were in the market for a phone right now and the pricing for that accessory were announced and reasonable, I'd probably get a Note 4.

Re:I don't know... (2)

i kan reed (749298) | about 2 months ago | (#47820239)

Okay, I'm going to pull an Internet impossibility and change my mind based on your perfectly reasonable assertions.

Re:I don't know... (1)

timeOday (582209) | about 2 months ago | (#47819989)

I personally want the equipment geared better for interactive gaming

What is wrong with this for interactive gaming? The list of what they did makes it look very well suited for gaming:

  • Enabling real time scheduled multithreaded application processes at guaranteed clock rates
  • Context prioritized GPU rendering, enabling asynchronous time warp
  • Facilitating completely unbuffered display surfaces for minimal latency
  • Supporting low-persistence display mode for improved comfort, visual stability, and reduced motion blur / judder
  • variations of the Oculus Tracker and firmware built into the headset for extremely accurate, ultra low-latency 3DOF tracking.
  • sub-20 millisecond motion-to-photons latency, roughly equivalent to the most highly optimized experiences on DK2.

A 1440p AMOLED display and cutting-edge GPU are the ideal building blocks for a self-contained VR headset, and using your cellphone to power it should make it much cheaper than any comparable alternative.

My main concern, on the other hand, would be the weight of the phone hanging out at the front like that.

Re:I don't know... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47820449)

I suspect the primary concern is that a realistic semblance of, well, reality, at 1440p at substantially higher than 60Hz is going to require at least an order of magnitude more horsepower than a cell phone can provide. If you're okay with cartoon worlds, it's probably not too bad. (There are other concerns about controls/inputs and better optimized displays than a sub-6" cell phone, but the CPU/GPU performance is going to be limiting.)

How do I answer a call? (1)

scorp1us (235526) | about 2 months ago | (#47819753)

With that device in that contraption and strapped to my head?

Re:How do I answer a call? (4, Funny)

i kan reed (749298) | about 2 months ago | (#47819791)

I don't know. Have you considered hiding in a virtual world from all the external obligations that phone call represents?

Re:How do I answer a call? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47819929)

It is Facehugger !!!!!!!!

Re:How do I answer a call? (1)

Reisrdok (1361907) | about 1 month ago | (#47823409)

Facephone!!

Re:How do I answer a call? (2)

geekoid (135745) | about 2 months ago | (#47820393)

It's a phone. Why the hell are you taking calls with it?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?... [youtube.com] :)

Re:How do I answer a call? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47820531)

Its got headphones and a mic.

who puts phones to their heads anymore?

Re:How do I answer a call? (1)

Mister Liberty (769145) | about 2 months ago | (#47820611)

I don't understand the question. Is your head yours, or do you rent it or something?

first fag (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47819769)

derp

Nope... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47819953)

Still not glasses friendly.

Re:Nope... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 1 month ago | (#47823289)

Why would you buy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47820369)

Why would you buy a VR headset that will be tied to a bunch of phones that will surely be unsupported soon. Samsung has a *terrible* track record here.

Re:Why would you buy (1)

gameboyhippo (827141) | about 2 months ago | (#47820729)

If I understand this article correctly, one could eventually just switch out the Galaxy Note 4 for a later model.

Re:Why would you buy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 1 month ago | (#47822941)

Unfortunately the Note 5 will be 10 microns smaller, so whenever you suddenly move your head, it flies out of the Gear VR, across the room, and your $600 device shatters. You're also locked into buying new Galaxy Notes, since other smartphones won't fit in it or be compatible with the software, or have prerequisite hardware features like backlight strobing.

I'm wondering how head tracking will work without an external camera.

Nice idea! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47820383)

Looking forward to watching half of a movie before having to take a break from it for a recharge (the device powers the unit)

PENTILE (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47820391)

Is this AMOLED Pentile? Pentile is just so unpleasant. Please Samsung Please.

Re:PENTILE (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47833325)

just F the fuck off

Durovis DIVE did this... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 1 month ago | (#47824981)

http://www.durovis.com/index.html I own one of these, and put my Samsung S3 into it. It's fun to play around with, as the 3D effect can be good, but it's not a perfected ready-for-prime-time product. Some of the apps are a real PITA to control, since you still have to tap on the screen with your finger sometimes. And there's no link to another video source- like a PC or console game machine. Having owned and used real high-end VR equipment over the years (including Mil Spec stuff), there's great potential (and fun) in VR, but getting it to the typical home user level is still a ways off. I think many people will buy a Rift device when it finally hits retails, and enjoy the "novelty", but will either return the things, or leave them to collect dust after getting over the initial novelty. The games and attendant accessories (i.e. practical controller) need to be in place, and at reasonable price points. I spent $30,000 on one setup, and it worked great, as the tracker could be used as a mouse emulator-- meaning it worked "off-the-shelf" with most FPS type games... but that $30K including the costs of the HMD, the tracker, and the joystick... and some games needed to have their keyboard layout remapped to work with the joystick buttons (not a big deal really)...

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