At CES 2015, I had the opportunity to try out the Samsung Gear VR display, thanks in part to Samsung and The Avengers. Lines in Samsung’s booth were long to try on Gear VR but luckily while scoping out some of the booths in the halls, I discovered a mini-Samsung Galaxy booth, protected by Captain America, The Hulk, Thor, and Iron Man, and complete with the opportunity to try out the Gear VR device.
Let’s look at what the Samsung Gear VR device can do, where you can get it, and what I thought about having a go at Samsung’s take on VR and headgear.
Samsung Gear VR
The Gear VR is Samsung’s take on VR and display headsets, on a different scale than Google Glass. Samsung has partnered with Oculus VR to develop a combination of hardware and software for a single VR device. At the moment, only certain Snapdragon-based Galaxy Note 4s can be used with Gear VR. This occurs by using a microUSB connection.
Samsung Gear VR’s Innovator Edition, sold for $199, offers consumers a look at VR technology. It offers the experience of a 360-degree immersive environment, allowing you to take advantage of Samsung’s Super AMOLED display and Oculus-based software to play games, explore the world and more. The Oculus store allows users to download content to use on their home screen, such as games and apps.
Samsung touched on Milk VR at CES 2015. Gear VR utilizes Milk VR, offering a VR content delivery service. Everything from 360-degree videos to different content channels for music, sports and more will be delivered weekly to Gear VR users. One of the best things about Milk VR is its trending service, which offers users the best trending VR content.
My Thoughts on Samsung Gear VR
I was excited to try Samsung Gear VR at CES 2015, especially without long queues as that gave me a chance to truly take a look and play around with the device. Unfortunately, the only thing Samsung had ready, for users to test at its Galaxy booth, was a spacecraft shooting game.
While it may not seem as exciting as getting to tinker around with a fully functional unit, it was enough to show just how powerful Gear VR can be. While playing the game, I had the opportunity to play it within the 360-degree world Gear VR allows users to explore. With simple movements of my head in any direction, I could control my spaceship and take out others as I did so.
Gear VR utilizes both head movement and controls on the unit to control what is going on inside. I suspect when paired up with a Note 4, these controls become even more fluid and comfortable to use.
The one thing I noticed, and it may have been more me than Gear VR, was how hot my forehead became after just a few minutes of use. When I took off Gear VR, I had to wipe my forehead down and it was noticeably hot. It was becoming uncomfortable wearing the device.
One of the things I appreciated the most about Gear VR was that my glasses fit perfectly inside the display, and it only took a few seconds for the display to adjust to them for me to get started using the display.
At $199, Samsung Gear VR’s Innovator Edition is easily affordable for the consumers to test out and see what the VR revolution is all about. Since Samsung has teamed up with Oculus VR, this means you’re going to have the latest and greatest software to use with the Gear VR, easily giving you a fully immersive VR experience.