Samsung tipped to beat VR nausea with new Gear headset

Samsung is plotting an ultra-high resolution version of the Gear VR headset, according to a new report.

The first version of Gear VR launched back in November 2015, and required the docking of a smartphone to act as a screen. There have been various iterations of the headset since then, but they all use the same docking system – limiting the resolution to that of the phone’s own display.

But a new report from local Korean news outlet Naver suggests that Samsung is working on a standalone headset i.e. no phone-docking required.

The big advancement here, it’s claimed, is that the new Gear VR would have a massively ramped-up resolution. Citing Samsung insiders, the report details how the new model could have a 2,000ppi pixel density, which is staggeringly high.

To put that into perspective, the Oculus Rift only has a 460ppi display, as does the HTC Vive. Similarly, the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+ – both of which can be used in the existing Gear VR headsets – have 570ppi and 529ppi pixel densities respectively.

Gear VR

It’s believed that by increasing pixel density, you can reduce some of the negative side effects relating to virtual reality use – like nausea, for instance. The report notes that Samsung believes anything above 1,000ppi should have a noticeable impact in this regard, and quotes one official as saying: “When using a VR device, the number of pixels per inch should be much larger than it is now to feel natural without feeling dizzy. The higher the resolution, the better the nausea symptoms will be.”

This isn’t the first time we’ve heard such a rumour. Back in March, it was reported that Samsung was developing a Gear VR with a resolution of 1,500ppi, purportedly in a bid to reduce discomfort, nausea, and headaches.

Unfortunately, it’s not clear when this headset will be released. Obvious possible launch occasions would include Samsung’s rumoured Galaxy Note 8 launch in August, or at September’s IFA technology tradeshow in Berlin. Note, however, that Samsung hasn’t confirmed any such rumours, so take this report with a pinch of salt.

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Have you used a Samsung Gear VR headset? Tell us your thoughts in the comments below.