The virtual reality (VR) rumour mill is constantly turning, producing anything from release dates of the Oculus Rift consumer headset to the announcement of brand new devices from hardware manufacturers.
Samsung, long rumoured to be producing a VR headset device, is the next suspect for a device release date. Samsung observer SamMobile is predicting a device will launch later this year at the Internationale Funkausstellung (IFA) 2014 conference in Berlin. According to the site, the headset is being made in collaboration with Oculus, and will actually use Samsung phones as the display.
The report details how the device will work, with users docking in a Samsung Galaxy phone to provide the accelerometer, gyroscope and processing power. Other features of note include the ability to use the camera of the phone to provide a feed to the outside world, a feature which is also set to be seen on the Rift.
A touch pad will allow users to control the device without having to physically touch the phone screen.
On the software side of things, development is said to be underway in collaboration with the software team at Oculus, creating a suite of apps for Samsung phones such as 360 player and Gallery.
What’s interesting is the partnership with Oculus, as the shared hardware and other technology is likely to have an impact on the quality of the Samsung device, and possibly even the Rift. In the past, joint development has often yielded a better result for all parties involved.
This can be most clearly seen in the automotive industry, where companies like Audi are able to use parent enterprise Volkswagen’s hardware bases to build their own vehicles.
If the mobile phone industry is indeed moving into the VR space, it’s likely other cellular manufacturers could follow such as HTC and LG. However, given their history of creating a variety of devices, Samsung is in better stead to create a viable headset.