IFA 2014: Samsung gets Gear VR

Vishal Kawadkar

Samsung has unveiled a virtual reality headset, Samsung Gear VR at the IFA 2014 in Berlin. The company collaborated with Oculus to create the new dimension of mobile life. The device will be available later this year.

The Gear VR uses a smartphone and lenses to provide a 3D virtual reality experience to the users. It is much more efficient than Google’s Cardboard project.

Gear VR is more like Oculus Rift in design and appearance. The wearable can be exclusively used with Note 4 as it’s not compatible with any other smart device. It uses the phone’s GPU/CPU to power the device and the Quad HD low-persistence 5.7 inch 1440p AMOLED screen as the display.

The Note 4 fits into the Gear VR, in front of dual-lenses that provide the 3D effect. There’s a trackpad and back button on the right side of the Gear VR, and a focus adjustment on top.

The Gear VR uses same dual-lens method showing different images to each eye to trick your brain into seeing depth. It’s the basis for all sorts of virtual reality and 3D applications, but the difference this time is that there’s a simple smartphone powering the experience.

Samsung launches Gear VR at IFA 2014

Gear VR is compatible with Bluetooth gaming controllers, but there are no specific controls for users hands for now.

Navigating menus, exploring worlds, and playing games is mostly done with head movements and taps on the side-mounted trackpad.

The VR headset comes with a controller but requires a Galaxy Note 4 handset to work

The Gear VR will be sold with a microSD card containing a small collection of 360-degree videos and virtual reality games.

There were some improvements made in the wearable keeping in mind the setbacks of other VR headsets.

·         Allowing custom calibrated sensors to talk to a dedicated kernel driver

·         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

Gear VR is compact in size (198 x 116 x 90mm), and a light weight comfortable wearable. The padding around the eyes can be replaced easily, which is a necessity for long time users.



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