Samsung and Oculus to collaborate on virtual reality headset - report

Samsung VR headset will focus on media not gaming, require connection to smartphone, sources claim
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Samsung and Oculus, the firm behind the Rift virtual reality headset, are working together on a new headset, rumours have claimed.

Engadget, citing “sources close to both companies”, reports that the deal will benefit both companies – Oculus will provide Samsung with early access to its mobile software development kit and will help develop the user interface for the headset, while Samsung will provide Oculus with early access to its upcoming high-resolution OLED screens, which the latter firm plans to integrate into its future headset models.

The screens, which provide a resolution higher than that of Full HD 1080p, will also be used in Samsung’s future smartphone models, the sources added.

The sources also teased some details of Samsung’s rumoured VR headset.

The headset is said to require a connection to a smartphone, which doubles as the display for the device.

The device also includes multiple sensors, including an accelerometer, with the processing power for motion tracking provided by the connected smartphone.

The headset is said to support use with a game controller, or can be controlled instead using motion tacking and voice recognition. Physical control buttons are included on the outside of the device.

The sources added that the headset’s rear-facing camera supports for video pass-through, meaning that the user can choose to “see through the phone using the rear camera, which shows a video feed of the outside world to your eyes".

Unlike the Oculus Rift, Samsung’s VR headset is said to be focused on media experiences rather than gaming, but some games are reportedly in development for the platform.

As well as its new-found partner Oculus, Samsung also joins Sony in the virtual reality marketplace, with Sony’s Project Morpheus VR headset announced earlier this year.

See PCR’s discussion of whether the Morpheus can challenge the Rift, published just after Sony’s reveal of the Oculus competitor, here.

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