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Samsung patents reveal a host of new Gear VR accessories

Samsung has published a patent application with the USPTO (U.S. Patent & Trademark Office) that suggests Gear VR users could be soon treated to a bunch of shiny new accessories for the popular VR headset.
Currently, the only Samsung-made accessory for the Gear VR is a small handheld controller device that allows you to point, shoot, tilt, and drag and drop objects within the virtual world. If the South Korean electronics giant’s patent applications become a reality, however, controlling the Gear VR will become more than just a matter of point-and-click.
The first new accessory on Sammy’s to-do list is a clear cover case, which will free up a smartphone’s camera to enable users to take photos of the real world while they’re immersed in VR. It will also let users view a picture-in-picture view within the Gear VR.
Samsung Gear VRPicture: Patently Mobile

Next up is a touchpad that plugs into the USB Type-C port of the phone, making it possible to swipe, scroll and pinch to zoom. There’s also a touchpad attachment with a trackball for more precise control.
Finally, there’s a ‘Wheel Key’ accessory, which also plugs into a phone’s USB Type-C port. This little number works a little like Apple’s click wheel, letting you move your finger over the wheel to scroll through text.

That covers the patent applications, but Samsung is also working on other Gear VR accessories that aren’t quite ready for the market yet. According to Sam Mobile, there’s an eye tracker, iris scanner and fingerprint sensor in the works, which would certainly help the Gear VR get a whole lot closer to become a mere extension of its user’s body.

Samsung Gear VRPicture: Patently Mobile

Samsung also has a Shopping VR app under construction, which would let users pick up items like clothes and shoes in a virtual shop. Accessories like the trackpad would make it possible to examine items more closely in the virtual shopping environment.
Of course, a patent isn’t a promise that a product will ever make it onto the shelf, so we’ll wait for more news on the new line of Gear VR accessories in the coming weeks.

Related: Best VR headset

Which Gear VR accessories are you rooting for? Let us know in the comments

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