Samsung’s Gear VR smartphone-based virtual reality (VR) head-mounted display (HMD) has led a short but busy life so far. Having been revealed back in September 2014, the kit, which runs with the company’s Galaxy Note 4 smartphone, launched in the USA the following December. More recently the device has started to appear in its first European territories, though no official announcement of an international release has been made. Even with all of this going on, it appears that the company is prepping a new version of the HMD to accommodate a new smartphone.
VRFocus has learned from sources familiar with the matter that Samsung is set to reveal a new version of Gear VR that will work with the company’s as-of-yet unrevealed Galaxy S6, the successor to last year’s flagship Galaxy S5. The device could be revealed as early as April 2015. It’s important to note that this doesn’t appear to be the next iteration of Gear VR itself, rather a new model created for this specific type of phone. Typically, the Galaxy S series of smartphones are smaller than the Galaxy Note series.
This could mean that the only real difference between the old and new HMD would be the clip on the front of the device to accommodate the smartphone. VRFocus has been informed that Samsung and partner Oculus VR are working on features such as positional tracking, potentially for a brand new iteration of Gear VR, but it’s not clear that such a feature will be included in this version. Rumours point towards the S6 also using a Quad HD display as seen with the Galaxy Note 4, though this is yet to be confirmed.
Meanwhile, the current version of Gear VR is still waiting on the launch of a premium option on the Oculus VR Store that hosts all compatible content. Until then, users are making do with free experiences such as demos and videos. VRFocus will continue to follow Gear VR closely, reporting back with any further updates on the device.