Samsung and Oculus have been working closely since late 2014 to offer an immersive virtual reality experience using little more than a phone. The Gear VR uses Samsung’s superior display technology and Oculus’ unique yet proprietary software experience, and there have been four hardware revisions since its first launch. Launched alongside the Samsung Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+, the latest version takes the Gear VR interface to new heights, offering a dedicated motion controller for new depths of interactivity.
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Like its predecessors, this latest version of the Gear VR is designed to be worn for hours, and it can even charge your phone while plugged into the headset, so long gaming or movie sessions don’t negatively impact battery during the rest of the day. time. day. Perhaps most importantly, it’s comfortable enough that you really want to wear it for those long periods of time.
Why should I care about VR?
Virtual reality is a new way to explore many amazing things that you would never see in person, making you feel like you are in a completely different place. You can stand in the middle of Stonehenge or sit on top of the Empire State Building and all you see is a massive spherical image of the place. You can even invite other people to experience these things with you and talk to their virtual version as if you were standing next to each other.
It’s also incredible for entertainment. You can watch the next episode of The Handmaid’s Tale with a friend living on the other side of the world, take out zombies with futuristic rifles, or pilot the fastest spaceship in the galaxy. These events don’t live on a flat screen in front of you, they happen all around you when you’re wearing a VR headset.
You don’t have to sit still or stand still to enjoy VR. There are amusement parks all over the world where VR headsets are turning rollercoasters into amazing new experiences by simply bringing new experiences and sounds to the theme park. This form of immersion even had medical uses, from assisting in physical therapy sessions to distracting from pain.
It might seem odd that virtual reality is being called the new one, especially when you remember when massive, heavy headsets and bulky shopping malls filled with computers made many people nauseous after a few minutes. What we are talking about here is not at all like the same thing, even if it has the same name. It’s new, it’s fun, and if you haven’t tried the new Gear VR yet, now is the time to try it.
How Gear VR stands out
Basically, this headset is a complete thought. It is designed to prevent light from entering during ventilation and to prevent lens fogging during prolonged use, and can be quickly adjusted for different levels of eye comfort. You can wear the headset with or without glasses, and the headset itself offers additional tracking hardware to ensure a smooth experience even when quickly converted to a gaming application. It’s also very durable, so there’s no need to worry if you pack it in luggage or in a backpack that scatters a bit.
- 101˚ FOV
- 62mm IPD (fixed)
- 10mm Relief
- USB-C, OTG
- Proximity (headset only)
- Magnetometer (controller only)
There’s an important detail on this spec sheet that helps explain why this headset stands out in the crowd. More than just plastic and glass, the Samsung Gear VR has additional sensors built in to help the phone track movement. This extra information means that things like rapidly spinning your head in Gear VR feel more natural, which could go a long way to people easily dismayed by the feeling of near-absence so often associated with VR.
While there are other VR experiences that use the phone to create otherworldly visuals and engaging games, Samsung guarantees there will be no competition for Gear VR if you’ve already purchased the phone. If you’re already happy with your phone and would like to explore VR, the decision has largely been made for you thanks to exclusivity agreements.
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The good news is that many of the most popular VR experiences are made by companies that are happy that every VR user has the same experience. The bad news is that if you’re enjoying your Gear VR experience but want to make a different manufacturer’s phone in the future, you’ll be leaving things like game safes and friend lists behind. It’s not that hard if you use Gear VR occasionally, but once you find something unique to help you immerse yourself in VR on a daily basis, you’ll probably stick with Samsung for a while.
Hugging the Gear VR Controller
While the Gear VR has many games that support or require the addition of a Bluetooth gamepad, many games use the touchpad mounted on the side of the headset for input. This works well for quick apps and games, but if you want someone to do something in VR for an extended period of time, you can’t expect them to keep their hand on the side of the headset.
Sign in to Gear VR Controller.
This little Bluetooth wand lets you do everything you would normally do on the side of your headset, but in the palm of your hand. Not only is this significantly more convenient, but it also adds buttons for developers to add features. Where in the past it was all about «swipe up to jump», now you can have a button for things like this, which is much more fun.
Samsung and Oculus really see the future in this controller.
The Gear VR controller does a lot more. When you look at your hand while wearing the Gear VR, you can see the controller. When you move it in your hand, these movements are visible in Gear VR. The controller has what’s called «Three Degrees of Freedom» (3Dof), which means you can move it and those movements will be added to VR. For VR games, this means that the gun can actually be fired and fired. For learning or browsing, this means having a laser pointer in your hand for precise aiming and even typing.
You get a Gear VR controller with the latest version of Gear VR, but if you already have a Gear VR, adding a controller to your existing experience is easy as you can buy it separately. Samsung and Oculus have a strong vision for the future of this controller, and together with over 40 developers have developed unique new experiences that rely heavily on this unique new controller.