Samsung threw virtual reality (VR) fans off course this week when it hosted its Unpacked press conference in New York City, New York without so much as a hint of the consumer version of its Gear VR mobile head-mounted display. The company did announce 2 brand new smartphones in the Galaxy Note 5 and Galaxy S6 Edge+, but it wasn’t confirmed if either phone would support its VR device, which is made in partnership with Oculus VR. Now the company behind the Oculus Rift has suggested that more information on the consumer Gear VR may be arriving at its own event next month.
Chief Technology Officer at Oculus VR, John Carmack, has suggested via Twitter that some sort of news will be provided at the Oculus Connect 2 developer conference from 23rd – 25th September 2015 at the Loews Hotel in Hollywood, California. “If you are considering buying a phone for VR,” he wrote, “you might want to hold off until after Oculus Connect for relevant information.” The developer didn’t offer any other teases, though has in the past confirmed that he himself will be hosting a keynote speech among other talks.
The most interesting point of Carmack’s statement is that it suggests that the Galaxy Note 5 and Galaxy S6 Edge+ might not be the phones that support the consumer Gear VR, which both Oculus VR and Samsung remain adamant will arrive this year. Could Samsung be developing a handset that’s designed with VR in mind? It seems certain now, then, that Oculus Connect will be the event in which we finally learn more about the anticipated consumer version of the device, which will drop the ‘Innovator’s Edition’ branding seen in the previous two iterations.
VRFocus will continue to follow the consumer Gear VR closely, reporting back with the latest updates on it.