Yesterday at the Samsung Developers Conference in SF, Samsung executives announced the availability of the Gear VR HMD, to be launched first in the United States. Calling it an “Innovator Edition”*, it is available for order via website only, and is scheduled to be delivered to customers “sometime in December 2014.” Two flavors are available, the HMD only, or the HMD with a paired bluetooth gamepad. Either way, the HMD requires you to already own a Note 4 smartphone.
All that aside, this is one of the most exciting developments in VR since the shipping of the Oculus DK1 last year. Most people who get into VR have two reactions :
- OMG this is the most amazing thing ever!!
- can I do this without being tangled up in cords attached to a PC?
The Gear VR Solution
The Gear VR HMD elegantly and effectively solves this conundrum, so much so that the development of viable mobile VR has been the personal jihad of none other than graphics god John Carmack for the past 12 months.
and… announcing Project Beyond
In other very exciting news for developers, and far less publicized, Samsung announced in parallel the imminent release of Project Beyond, a 360 degree portable HD camera array capable of capturing 1 giga-pixel of spherical digital video resolution. Read more on that here.
Want to test mobile VR with your own rig?
Save the trouble of pre-registering and praying:
* rough translation of Innovator Edition : “first prototype”