The lights are on
This morning, Samsung and Oculus announced a new collaborative venture that will use the new Samsung Note 4 as a virtual reality display. The Gear VR isn’t a substitute for the Oculus Rift, it’s another branch of development (and one that was foreshadowed over a year ago when we spoke to founder Palmer Luckey).
There are certainly some advantages to a portable virtual reality solution. You’ll be able to take it on an airplane, use it anywhere in the house, and load up some of the more relaxing scenic apps while laying in bed. If you want, you could even use it while driving a car (please don’t use it while driving a car).
There are, of course, some drawbacks to this solution. For now, you’ll need a very specific phone model, and you’ll be limited by battery power. The GPU and CPU are also a bottleneck, and the Gear VR only offers three degrees of freedom (instead of the Rift DK2’s six degrees).
Right now, portable VR is a promise that’s yet to become a reality even for the broader development and enthusiast community (though there are apps and games in the works). Come this fall, you’ll start seeing these devices at trade shows, conventions, and maybe even your public transportation.
With all of that, we have one question for you. Are you interested in a portable virtual reality solution? If so, how do you envision using it? If not, are you not interested in VR at all, or do you see it more as an “at home” experience. Let us know in the comments.