Photo courtesy iFixit. Creative Commons BY-NC-SA.

Adding a heaping load of fuel to the rumors that Samsung and Oculus VR are working closely together, it turns out that every Oculus Rift DK2 contains a significant part of the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 smartphone.

Living within the Oculus Rift DK2 like an endosymbiont is the Samsung Galaxy Note 3’s 1080p display, including the touchscreen driver, revealed by an iFixit teardown of the new VR headset.

Photo courtesy iFixit. Creative Commons BY-NC-SA.

It’s been rumored for some time now that Oculus VR and Samsung were working closely together on a VR smartphone adapter to be announced by Samsung in September. Rumor has it that the relationship between the two companies involves Oculus sharing its VR experience and heretofore unreleased Android SDK while Samsung shares its high density displays.

See Also: Samsung ‘Gear VR’ Smartphone Adapter Rumored to be Announced in September at IFA 2014

And while that seemed fairly logical, we certainly didn’t expect to see the entire touchscreen from the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 contained within the Oculus Rift DK2. In my past years of covering the smartphone market, I’ve never seen the screen, including the bezel, of one device embedded inside of another. This leads me to believe that Samsung and Oculus are working very closely together and opted to make use of either existing an existing manufacturing line or some leftover touchscreen stock. I don’t think we’d see this kind of deal made with Samsung’s ‘typical’ display customers.

Photo courtesy iFixit. Creative Commons BY-NC-SA.

Beyond this interesting revelation, the iFixit teardown has plenty of excellent photos of the Oculus Rift DK2’s inner workings. Definitely worth checking out!

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Ben is the world's most senior professional analyst solely dedicated to the XR industry, having founded Road to VR in 2011—a year before the Oculus Kickstarter sparked a resurgence that led to the modern XR landscape. He has authored more than 3,000 articles chronicling the evolution of the XR industry over more than a decade. With that unique perspective, Ben has been consistently recognized as one of the most influential voices in XR, giving keynotes and joining panel and podcast discussions at key industry events. He is a self-described "journalist and analyst, not evangelist."
  • Alkapwn

    This is very awesome indeed! Can we hope for an extremely wide FOV on CV1 with a Samsung flexible curved OLED? Imagine the weight reduction that would have too! Exciting times these are!

  • Nowry

    This can’t be as Oculus Rift VR taking 50.000 Samsung Galaxy Note 3 smartphones, taking their screens and throw away the rest :). A cooperation is clearly taking place and this is a firm confirmation.

  • Don Gateley

    I don’t quite get it. A touch screen has no place in a DK2. If it were outside facing so that it could actually be used as such it would make sense but buried inside? Or is it just there because that’s the way it came from Samsung’s production line at the best point for DK2 integration and it was cheaper to leave it than remove it?

    If that’s the case there is nothing particularly notable about it being there.

    • eyeandeye

      I’d be surprised if they left the touchscreen on for any reason other than saving money. I think the notable thing to take away here is that it is apparently a sign of collaboration with Samsung. There’s been a rumor that Oculus and Samsung might be working on a custom screen for the consumer model if I recall correctly.

  • stormy3000

    Well that’s cool and kinda random.

    No massive surprise that the screen is from Samsung. I kinda like that it is directly taken from a Note 3, with the touchscreen driver still included.. it makes it seem like on some level they’re still scrabbling around in the gutter to build an awesome indie platform with gaffer tape… (backed by millions/billions of $)

    .. So if we can plugin the touch screen driver, remove the lenses from the rift and attach some touch screen pens to our eye lids we could interact with the screen? ;-)

  • spark

    I see Samsung wanting to get aboard the VR business with Oculus before its major competitor LG gets traction.

    I expect LG to be actively researching VR applications for its display technology.

    It makes me wonder who they will partner with.