The Next Generation of Samsung VR Devices
For all its achievements in acting as a gateway drug for virtual reality, smartphone-based VR has been a little crude until now. Even the best mobile VR experience available right now, the Samsung Gear VR, involves fiddling with focus sliders before you can get the true immersion in a rather low resolution world. This low quality resolution however, will get its upgrade later this year with reports surfacing that the Galaxy Note 6 will feature USB Type C connectivity and this presents some very enticing prospects for the next Gear VR.
If Samsung goes USB-C route with the Note 6 then, it will have no choice but to release a new Gear VR this year. The current headset makes use of the normal microUSB as opposed to the newer reversible connector. Virtual reality is central to Samsung’s plans that launching a new high end phone without a compatible Gear VR is unfathomable.
USB 3.1 and All of its Benefits
It doesn’t sound very wise to just recreate the current gear VR with a different port and end there. If Samsung decides to do that they will be losing out on a very good opportunity to take advantage of the USB 3.1, the standard that will accompany the new port. And this new standard comes with a lot of features. Some of which are UltraHD video output. These powerful USB 3.1 can deliver 4k video to a high resolution monitor or TV. Also with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 and Samsung Exynos 8890 processors, delivering outputs in 4k won’t be a problem.
Samsung has the chance to create a new premium VR product that will not require changeable and unreliable display of whichever phone it happens to be present in but a product that relies entirely on higher resolution integrated displays within the headset itself. The Note 6 will probably still slot into the current gear VR just like current models but instead of using its own display to drive the experience, Samsung may manufacture smaller, significantly higher density panels around each eye. This approach has been used to an extent in the LG 360 VR.
Advantages to This New Methodology
The major advantage to this new design is that since you are no longer relying on a smartphone screen to drive your VR headset, you’re no longer tied down to the pixel density limits of phone screens. Integrated displays in the next generation of VR devices would mean Samsung could continue using 2k panels in its high end phones. This resolution is quite okay for a handheld device. They can now use considerable OLED display to craft even more pixel-dense panels for the next Gear VR.
This resolution bump is the most sensible thing for Samsung to do with the Gear VR and this makes more sense than fitting in a 4K panel in the next Note just for the benefit of VR. This would represent the most meaningful upgrade for smartphone based VR assuming the display on the Samsung is currently able to handle > ~600ppi boundary we have today in modern phones.