By its description alone, the Samsung Gear VR seems like a bit of garage technology dreamed up by an enterprising engineering major. But it’s not. It’s a real device … a Samsung Galaxy Note 4 powered virtual reality headset, powered also by Oculus technology, which reinvigorated VR technology with its own gaming focused device.
The Samsung Gear VR will only work with the Note 4, which seems a good fit thanks to the phablet’s high-resolution AMOLED display that rocks 518 pixels per inch. The headset itself is more than just a pair of goggles and a strap, as it has a focus dial, as well as a touchpad for navigation, and a back button. Long pressing the back button also brings up the Note 4 camera, so users can see what’s going on around them.
Of course, the Samsung Gear VR will live and die by the content made available to it. To that end, Samsung is touting partnerships with Marvel, IMAX, Dreamworks VR, Legendary Pictures, Cirque du Soleil, M-Go, Vevo, and DENA for interactive content, apps, and games. Most of it seems to fall into the “demo” category from Samsung’s descriptions, including “access to Tony Stark’s Lab inside the all new Avengers Tower” and the opportunity to “to interact and laugh with DreamWorks characters,” but that might be enough to convince some that VR has potential to become more mainstream.
We’ll know more about the Gear VR once the Brighthand team has a chance for some hands-on, or heads-on, time. Everyone else should be able to try it out when it launches “this year,” according to Samsung.