During the Samsung Unpacked event in Berlin, Germany, we heard about a slew of new Samsung products, including the Galaxy Note 4 smartphone, and better: Gear VR. Gear VR is the result of Samsung's collaboration with Oculus VR, which uses the Galaxy Note 4 smartphone as its screen, slotting into the front of the Gear VR device.
This is interesting and noteworthy on so many levels, where we're finally starting to see what the deal between Samsung and Oculus was. Oculus got early access to Samsung panels, and Samsung got help on its own VR tech from Oculus, and early access to Oculus' SDK. But this relationship goes much deeper, as John Carmack, the CTO of Oculus VR, spending over a year getting this technology working - VR on mobile with Gear VR.
We have some better technology inside of the Gear VR, bettering what is found in the Rift DK2. First off, we have a 5.7-inch 2560x1440 Super AMOLED display compared to the 5.5-inch 1920x1080 Super AMOLED panel found in the Gear VR. Thanks to the Galaxy Note 4 powering the Gear VR, we have a mobile VR headset instead of it being tethered by a bunch of cables like the Rift. Gear VR has focus controls that will help users tune the VR experience to their needs, a 96-degree field of view, a 16GB microSD card that is loaded up with a bunch of VR content, and more. I hope to get my hands and eyes on the Samsung Gear VR as soon as possible.
I think we're seeing the beginning of something quite big with this announcement, as we're seeing Oculus' commitment to Samsung, and the mobile world of VR in general. For Carmack's talents to have been spent on Gear VR for a considerable amount of time, we have to wake up and take notice that Oculus is concentrating on the mobile VR market. I think we're going to see two markets hit with VR from Oculus, something I've talked previously in my posts, and around the world to friends and colleagues.
We will most likely see a consumer VR headset hit at the mobile level in the form of the Gear VR, especially this holiday season, which will amp up sales of the Galaxy Note 4. This will see the name of Oculus pumped into the houses of everyone across the world as Samsung is a name that virtually everyone knows now.
Second, I think we'll see Oculus release two headsets next year: a mid-range headset, either in the form of a Rift with a 1440p display, or through Samsung and continuing to push Gear VR. Second, I think and I'm hoping we'll see a fully-cranked Rift headset for PC that goes beyond the hardware found on a mobile SoC inside of a smartphone - something that needs to push 1440p at 90Hz, or 4K at 90Hz.
All in all, I would say that we're seeing Oculus play a little of its hand here, teasing what direction we're seeing them go as 2014 begins to wrap up.