Earlier last week, it was revealed that Samsung was working on its own VR headset, and that the manufacturer was working on getting its product available to the masses before a consumer version of the Oculus Rift hits stores. A new report from Engadget states that Samsung is in fact seeking Oculus' help in developing the VR headset. More details after the break.
Samsung will be getting access to Oculus' mobile virtual reality software development kit, which the manufacturer will use in powering the software experience offered by the headset. Samsung is already said to have exclusive access to an early version of the SDK and is currently developing a user interface for its VR headset.
Oculus, meanwhile, will be able to get early access to Samsung's "next-gen, high-pixel density OLED screens." It is believed that these screens will be of a resolution higher than 1080p.
Engadget states that although both companies will be sharing key technologies, their VR headsets will be vastly different to each other. With the Oculus Rift, Oculus is looking to deliver a headset that is tailored for gaming, while Samsung is said to be working on a headset that can be used for entertainment and media consumption purposes.
A key differentiator between both products is that Samsung's VR headset will not feature a dedicated display, but will instead use your smartphone's display. You plug in your phone to the VR headset through a wired connector (most likely micro-USB), and then use the display as the screen for the headset. The early dev handsets are allegedly running a Galaxy S4 as the screen, but the consumer-version of the VR headset is said to work with a Galaxy S5 or its successor.
The headset in itself features an accelerometer and other sensors that frees up the phone's processor, which is used to drive the software experience. The user interface, which is still in the nascent stages, allows you to navigate using motion detection and head tracking.
The unit even features standard Android navigation buttons like Home, Back, and Recent, but these are believed to not be used for user interaction. It is possible that these will be removed in future builds of the headset. Also, the ability to dock your smartphone to the headset means that you can use the rear camera of your smartphone to show "a video feed of the outside world to your eyes."
Samsung is also said to be exploring gaming options for this headset and might offer a gamepad through which you would be able to navigate the user interface and play games. Since Samsung's VR headset utilizes your smartphone's display and processor, the device itself will likely be more affordable than standalone VR headsets.
There is no official confirmation from either Samsung or Oculus on the headset, but it should be interesting to see where this collaboration leads. Would you guys be interested in such a VR headset? What potential downsides do you see?