At this point, it seems like a given that Samsung is working on a virtual reality headset, with several reports indicating a partnership with OculusVR.
But how would the so-called Gear VR work? A batch of leaked images from SamMobile give us an idea.
As reported previously, the Gear VR will be powered by a Samsung Galaxy phone that snaps onto the headset. The phone will provide the processing power, the display and a camera for viewing the outside world, while the headset will provide the optics and a set of controls.
The new images show a touch pad near the user’s right temple for navigating the Android-based interface, along with a back button just above it. Long-pressing the back button turns on the phone’s camera, providing a window to the real world, and pressing it again takes users “back to VR world.” (An earlier report from Engadgetsaid the camera view would be too laggy for augmented reality application, so it’s really just a quick way to look outside without removing the headset.)
The Gear VR could have some other input methods as well. Users may be able to launch apps by saying “Hi Galaxy” and the name of the app they want to run, and may be able to highlight objects on the screen moving their heads around.
Most amusingly, a supposed image of the Gear VR settings menu shows an optional “warning alert” that can pop up every hour. Perhaps Samsung is worried about people getting lost in virtual space.
Both Engadget and CNet have reported on the motivations behind a Samsung-Oculus team-up. The partnership basically involves Oculus trading its software expertise for Samsung’s access to high-quality OLED displays. As a result, Samsung gets an early jump on the VR market, while Oculus gets the parts it needs to build its own PC-based headset.
If all goes to plan, Samsung could reveal the headset at the IFA trade show in Berlin this September.