Samsung’s Gear VR proved to be the most popular of the VR headsets last year, with the company shipping 4.51 million units and outselling the Oculus Rift, HTC Vive and PlayStation VR combined.
Which means Sammy will be keen to keep the Gear VR thing going, and if a new report from the Korea Herald is accurate, we could see a much more capable device coming in the future.
According to a source privy to a private Samsung meeting at MWC 2017, the firm showed off new display technologies, including a new Gear VR with an upgraded pixel-per-inch density.
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The company has already announced a new version of the Gear VR for 2017, which comes complete with a handheld device that allows you to point, shoot, tilt, and drag and drop objects within the virtual world.
But it seems future versions of the headset could come with an integrated display, rather than relying on a smartphone, strapped into the visor, to provide the screens, if the source is accurate.
As the source states in the new report: “They showcased VR headsets with 1,200 PPI (pixels of per inch). Considering the technology completion, a headset with 1,500 PPI is soon expected to be unveiled.”
As mentioned, current versions of the Gear VR simply come with lenses, and require a Samsung phone to provide the display element.
The report goes on to explain how “the resolution of Samsung’s current VR Gear is less than 1,000 PPI” and that “when resolution reaches 1,500 PPI, it will significantly solve virtual reality sickness, including general discomfort, headache and stomach awareness.”
It’s an interesting development that bodes well for the future of VR and how immersive virtual experiences can be in forthcoming iterations of the hardware.
The Oculus Rift currently provides a ppi of around 441 per eye, while the other big VR headset, the HTC Vive, offers 447-ppi per eye.
News of Samsung’s display ambitions (which is yet to be verified) follows a report from December last year which claimed, based on a patent, that Samsung was working on a new headset featuring a “remote camera” that will pick up head movements and facial expressions.
Along with the upgraded Gear VR, the company is said to have shown off force touch OLED panels, which would allow for pressure-sensitive tapping, much like Apple’s 3D Touch on the iPhone.
What’s more, these pressure-sensing panels will allegedly be used in the upcoming Galaxy S8, though the report claims the source said the technology shown in the private room “does not seem complete enough to be unveiled soon”.
Let us know what you want to see from a new Gear VR in the comments.