Once again Samsung's "throw everything at the wall and see what sticks" approach has manifested itself, this time in the form of the Oculus Rift Galaxy Gear VR. Rather than connecting to your phone wirelessly like the Galaxy Gear smartwatch lineup, the Gear VR requires you to physically dock a compatible phone into the headset. At the moment the only compatible phone is the Galaxy Note 4 but Samsung said they'd expand compatibility to other Galaxy phones going forward.

Besides the head and neck pains waiting to happen from strapping a Galaxy Note 4 to your head, the Gear VR is not something most people would even consider wearing in public. Why not simply duct tape a Note 4 to your head, you ask? Well for one thing it'll find a way stick to your hair even if you fold it over. For another thing, Samsung and Oculus (makers of the better-known Rift VR headgear) say the headset offers some key features that make it worthwhile, especially...

an immersive mobile virtual reality experience that the industry has never seen before
This includes full 360-degree video viewing capability, available VR-optimized content from the likes of Marvel Studios, DreamWorks VR and Vevo, and various sensors needed for the VR experience. The headset is intended for early adopters and developers rather than general consumers, somewhat like Google Glass (of course one of the many differences is that most people wouldn't even consider wearing Samsung's device in public). It will be available later this year, though no pricing information was announced. You can see the full-resolution product images in the gallery below.


Samsung's full press release follows:

Berlin, Germany - September 3, 2014 - Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. today introduced the next generation in wearable technology, the Samsung Gear VR Innovator Edition, enabling users to fully immerse themselves in a cinematic virtual reality environment. Powered by Oculus technology, the Samsung Gear VR delivers a completely new way to experience and consume mobile content. It continues Samsung's leadership in the wearable category through innovative technology and compelling design to expand the definition of mobile life.

The result of a deep and integrated partnership with Oculus, a Facebook company and a leader in virtual reality technology, the Samsung Gear VR creates an immersive mobile virtual reality experience that the industry has never seen before.

"The Samsung Gear VR goes far beyond expectations of how mobile technology can be used to consume content, and is a powerful representation of the progressive innovation of the Gear series," said JK Shin, President and CEO of IT & Mobile Communications Division at Samsung Electronics. "We are pleased to have partnered with Oculus VR to bring this incredibly immersive mobile content experience to consumers."

"We are thrilled to reveal the Gear VR Innovator Edition, a state-of-the-art mobile VR experience powered by Oculus," said John Carmack, CTO of Oculus. "The deep technical partnership with Samsung has enabled us to create a virtual reality headset with world class resolution and performance, all on a completely mobile platform."

The Samsung Gear VR delivers an unrivaled viewing experience with the 5.7 inch Quad HD Super AMOLED display of the Galaxy Note 4 providing stunning and engaging visuals at a mobile-leading resolution. With the Gear VR Innovator Edition, users can sit in the best seat of a theater, can be on-stage of a performance with full 360 3D video, and can enjoy gaming like it's never been seen before - inside the stunning worlds where imagination becomes reality. Samsung's industry leading Super AMOLED display technology and cutting-edge Oculus-driven technologies fuse to create an experience that surprises and delights - all on a mobile device.

Built with soft, flexible cushioning and lightweight materials, the Samsung Gear VR is comfortable to wear. It is completely wireless, so users can be fully engaged in virtual worlds without being tethered to a computer. With a robust selection of optimized virtual reality content from a wide range of top-tier creators, users will be able to enjoy a wide range of film, gaming, 360 degree video, and educational/experiential content.

The Samsung Gear VR will be available in Frost White through the Samsung online channel and selectively by carriers this year. Full details and product images are available at www.samsungmobilepress.com and www.oculus.com/blog/.

Note to Editors:

Product Specifications for Samsung Gear VR Innovator Edition

Designed for innovative consumers, specifically VR enthusiasts, developers, mobile experts and professionals, and early technology adopters.



Gear VR



Optical Lens



96˚ Field of View



Sensor



Accelerator, Gyrometer, Magnetic, Proximity



Motion to Photon Latency



< 20ms



Focal Adjustment



Covers Nearsighted / Farsighted Eyes



Interpupillary Distance Coverage



55 ~ 71 mm



Physical User Interface



Touch Pad, Back Button, Volume Key



Connection



microUSB 1.1 connection to the Galaxy Note 4



Dimension (Headset)



198(W) x 116(L) x 90(H)mm



Contents



Available through Oculus Store



microSD Card(16GB) in-box: A collection of 360-degree videos and 3D movie trailers from major studios will be pre-loaded.



Marvel's Avengers; Age of Ultron offers Samsung Gear VR users to have exclusive access to Tony Stark's Lab inside the all new Avengers Tower.



IMAX offers samples of Hollywood and documentary films in a virtual theatre with Samsung Gear VR - the next best thing to a live IMAX experience.



DreamWorks VR from DreamWorks Animation allows Samsung Gear VR users to interact and laugh with DreamWorks characters and content in a whole new way like never before.



Legendary's Pacific Rim Jaeger Pilot is an immersive content experience that puts viewers at center of the action with Samsung Gear VR.



Cirque du Soleil Media presents a 360 live-action 3D VR experience, featuring an act from Zarkana filmed by Felix & Paul Studios for Samsung Gear VR.



M-GO Advanced, a new paradigm for digital video VR applications, offers an unmatched interactive search and discovery experience with Samsung Gear VR.



Vevo offers more than 100,000 HD music videos, live concert events and original programming can be enjoyed in an immersive, full-screen theater experience on Samsung Gear VR.



Protocol Zero (working title) from DENA offers Samsung Gear VR players to infiltrate enemy grounds undetected in blackout conditions with hi-tech optics including night vision, X-ray vision, and thermal vision.



Qualcomm Vuforia connects the physical world with digital experiences to demand attention, drive engagement and deliver value through a mobile vision platform that enables apps to see with Samsung Gear VR.



Galaxy Note 4



Display



5.7 inch (143.9mm) Quad HD Super AMOLED (2560 x 1440)



Camera (Pass-Through)



High Frame Rate Preview (60fps)



Audio



3D Spatial Sound on Samsung VR Player for VR Gallery contents (Earphone needed)


* The availability of each content may differ by country.

* All functionality, features, specifications, and other product information provided in this document including, but not limited to, the benefits, design, pricing, components, performance, availability, and capabilities of the product are subject to change without notice or obligation.
Further reading: Samsung Galaxy Gear VR press guide