In September 2014 Samsung surprised the virtual reality (VR) community by revealing its Gear VR smartphone-based virtual reality (VR) head-mounted display (HMD). The kit was developed in partnership with Oculus VR, offering an untethered mobile VR experience with the Galaxy Note 4 smartphone. The two companies have shared the story of just how Gear VR came to be many times since that reveal. This week however Samsung has offered a more in-depth look at the kits creation, including a number of images of prototypes from as long as two years ago.
Below are two sets of images first shown in Samsung’s official blog post detailing the history of how Gear VR came to be. The first set showcases three much more simple HMDs that were created in 2013. Following that, the next set of much more finalised prototypes all come from 2014. The image includes a look at some of the materials that line the user-facing side of the device. These prototypes all would have all been created before the reveal in September, suggesting a fairly rapid development cycle.
Those familiar with Gear VR’s story will know that Samsung asked Oculus VR for its thoughts on one of its Gear VR prototypes, forming the beginning of a partnership between the two. Oculus VR has been working hard on the software side of Gear VR, with Chief Technology Officer and legendary videogame developer John Carmack paying particular attention to it. Now that Gear VR is available in the US the company operates the Oculus VR Store in which all content compatible with the platform is hosted.
Earlier today VRFocus reported on some of the first listings of Gear VR on official European Samsung websites, one of which suggests that the kit will be rolling out across the region next week. The Oculus VR Store is also expected to start seeing premium content added in the near future, with only free experiences currently available. VRFocus will continue to follow Gear VR reporting back with any further updates on the device.