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The Stack Archive

Samsung reveals Gear VR headset and curved screen smartphone

Wed 3 Sep 2014

Samsung has today unveiled a virtual reality headset and a smartphone with a Quad HD resolution display that curves around one side of the handset.

Launched at the IFA tech trade event in Berlin, the Samsung Gear VR attaches onto the Galaxy Note 4 to create a virtual reality environment. Among other uses, the headset will give users access to concerts, 360 degree city tours, and panoramas of various landscapes.

For its launch, special content will be pre-installed onto the Gear VR, such as a tour of Tony Stark’s Iron Man Lab, IMAX trailers, and 360 degree 3D performances, including Cirque Du Soleil.

Vevo is also expected to provide Gear VR users access to over 100,000 HD music videos, events and live concerts.

“It’s a virtual cinema,” said Samsung EVP John Pleasants.

The headset has been developed in collaboration with the Oculus VR team, and takes all of its power from the Note 4, as well as using the handset’s 2560 by 1400 pixels screen, and speakers. A focal adjustment lens offers the capability for users to adjust depending on their eyesight, and other sensors, including a head tracker, allow users free body movement to discover the virtual reality. However, depth and tilt are not yet factored into the technology.

Samsung’s other product launch, the Note Edge, features a curved screen which wraps around one side. According to the company, this will provide an easy-to-access area for a dock or toolbar of frequently used apps, aiding navigation.

Set for release this October, some experts believe that the Note Edge will still require further support to reach its potential.
“Unlike previous curved screen smartphones, such as the LG Flex, the Galaxy Note Edge screen delivers practical benefits. But to maximise the utility, Samsung will need third-party app developers to support the edge display,” suggested Ian Fogg from consultancy firm IHS.

“And because Samsung offers this display on just one handset, few app developers will choose to support it unless Samsung pays app developers to tailor their apps,” he continued.

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