After a year of Innovator Editions for enthusiasts and developers, Samsung and Oculus VR have launched the first official consumer version of the Gear VR virtual reality (VR) head-mounted display (HMD) in the US today. The $99 USD device is now available from a number of outlets and is arriving for those that pre-ordered it in the weeks leading up to launch. No doubt this new version of the device has a long life ahead of it, but will Samsung release new versions in the future? It certainly sounds like it.
Nick DiCarlo, VP of Immersive Products and Virtual Reality at Samsung recently told Co.Design that the company was ‘committed to continuously improving the device. “Consumer and developer feedback is critical and all of the tweaks we’ve made to the device have been as a result of what we hear from the community,” DiCarlo said. “We are committed to continuously improving and bringing this amazing new technology to millions, and that takes a careful ear to listen and learn from the passionate VR community and developers we work with every day.”
As the Co.Design article explains, Samsung has made some improvements to this latest version of the device. It’s said to be 19 percent lighter than the Gear VR for S6, for example. Of course, it also accommodates a range of smartphones that includes the flagship Galaxy S6, the curved Galaxy S6 edge, the enlarged Galaxy Note 4 and the Galaxy S6 edge plus, which is Note-sized while also boasting the curved screen. Of course, Samsung will have new phones to reveal in 2016; will these work with these Gear VR or can fans expect another new version of the device to accommodate them?
VRFocus will continue to follow Samsung’s work with the Gear VR closely.