Samsung today unveiled a new consumer version of its Gear VR headset during Facebook’s Oculus Connect 2 keynote. Unlike the Samsung Gear VR Innovator Edition for Galaxy S6 which the company released earlier this year, this new version will be compatible with a greater range of devices, including the Galaxy Note 5, Galaxy S6 edge+, S6 and S6 edge. Unfortunately, compatibility does not extend to non-Samsung smartphones at this point.
“Samsung has been at the forefront of delivering mobile experiences and ‘Gear VR Innovator Edition’ launched last year was no exception,” said JK Shin, CEO and President of IT & Mobile Division, Samsung Electronics. “We see virtual reality as the next computing platform, and we are thrilled to partner with Oculus on Gear VR to set the standard for mobile VR and bring this revolutionary product to consumers.”
The Samsung Gear VR is 22 percent lighter than the Gear VR Innovator Edition and promises to be more comfortable thanks to new new foam cushioning. Like the previous model, the Samsung Gear VR requires a Samsung smartphone as it does not come with its own screen. It offers a 96 degree field of view and head movements are tracked using an accelerator, gyrometer and proximity (mount/unmount detection) sensor. It also sports a redesigned tactile directional trackpad. It weighs 310 grams.
The Samsung Gear VR takes aim at one of the biggest if not the biggest barriers to the wider adoption of VR. It will sell for US$99 when it launches in November, before Black Friday, in the U.S. More markets will follow shortly after.
A number of companies have announced plans to support the Samsung Gear VR. Among them are Hulu, Netflix and Twitch. This does not necessarily mean that 360 degree videos will immediately be available but Hulu did announce plans to offer original VR content by the end of the year.
Source : Samsung Tomorrow