An exclusive report from SamMobile has dug up what it alleges are official assets surrounding Samsung’s rumored VR smartphone adapter. The report claims that the device will be called ‘Gear VR’ and be announced at IFA 2014 in early September.

Samsung Gear VR is a rumored VR smartphone adapter that’s supposedly being made in collaboration between Oculus VR and Samsung. Rumors suggest that the headset itself is being made by Samsung while Oculus is providing the SDK to power the experience. The device is described as a VR smartphone adapter which will join with a Samsung smartphone, utilizing its screen, processor, and sensors, to form a VR headset. The benefit of course is lowering cost by taking advantage of smartphone hardware, which many people already own.

A report published today by SamMobile includes assets which the site indicates are official. If so, this would confirm the name ‘Gear VR’ for the device. Samsung also markets a line of smart watches which fall under the Gear name.

Also revealed by SamMobile is what’s purported to be a rendering of Gear VR, with indications that there will be a touchpad on the side for interacting with the phone while docked in the unit. Another label on the photo points to a “See Through Button” which, when pressed, uses the phone’s rear-facing camera to reveal the world outside the headset, according to the report.

Rumors suggest that the relationship between Samsung and Oculus may also involve Samsung manufacturing displays for the forthcoming consumer version of the Oculus Rift. There is substantial evidence to suggest that the Oculus Rift DK2 is already using a Samsung display.

Out Now, New 'Beat Saber' Music Pack is Also a Final Farewell to Quest 1

The SamMobile report goes on to say that Gear VR will be announced alongside the Galaxy Note 4 early in September at IFA 2014, one of the world’s biggest consumer electronics shows, which will be held on September 5–10 in Berlin, Germany.

The source of the information and assets has not been revealed, we’re still filing this under ‘rumor’ for the time being.

Newsletter graphic

This article may contain affiliate links. If you click an affiliate link and buy a product we may receive a small commission which helps support the publication. More information.

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."
  • deadering

    Can’t wait to hear some more concrete info on this. While not very original it would still be a major leap into the mainstream and hopefully quality.

  • Don Gateley

    Waiting for LG to do the same to show off it’s G3’s superior resolution.

    VR may be mostly about games now but in 5 years gaming will be only a small niche the VR market.

  • sponge101

    Seems like different companies are trying to cater to different level of the vr audience. Google’s cardboard for the entry/low cost market, Oculus is aiming for the high end, and Samsung hopes to be somewhere in between. I guess we’ll have to see which one will eventually succeed

  • VRMatthew

    I am not convinced this is the right way to go unless Samsung and other smart phone adapter makers include positional tracking which does not appear to be the case. VR without positional tracking does not make a great first impression for new comers to VR. Feels more like Samsung is trying to make themselves more relevant, and current without actually innovating. Hoping they deliver more.

    • mptp

      Problem is there’s no way to do positional tracking without a static frame of reference, like a camera or sixense’s magnetic base-station. When you try to do it from just the accelerometer/gyroscope/magnetometer, you end up having to do a double-integration of the raw acceleration data. In most usage-settings, this isn’t realistic.
      You can get around it if you know something about how the movement is going to tend to work, but for 6DOF, it’s not practical with the sensors that are inside modern smartphones. :(

      I think this technology will really help the adoption of VR. Google is well-known for its somewhat far-out, extreme technologies so people won’t be too surprised with Cardboard. But I feel like having the manufacturer of such a widely-used android device releasing a VR accessory will really help people not in-the-loop to see that VR is for real this time.

      • deadering

        Luckily all phones have cameras so that’s not really a stretch to imagine a sort of tracking using a stationary object in your room tracked by the camera combined with the gyroscopic sensors and accelerometers.
        Not to mention obviously making it like oh I don’t know, infrared leds on the outside of this vr case tracked by maybe a ir camera??

        Sure it won’t be perfect. What do you really expect from using the smartphone for all aspects?

  • Faxvoice Romulator

    See-thru mode is great. I think that’s what every HMD needs. Compared to many things its not a hard one to implement and will be a deal breaker for a large demographic who are maybe curious but not hardcore gaming enthusiasts… That could easily bring people into VR that would not have otherwise. What cardboard did seemed more about getting developers on board than a product for consumers… However, it looks like a trend is emerging, “smart phone adapation early adopter”. The most relevant thing is definitely the camera. once it becomes a thing that is going to be what everyone will eventually want (including rifters) Am glad to see that this is becoming a more and more entertained idea. Mixing VR and AR into a single device (or even using a phone for this purpose, as a mediator) is more important than positional tracking. 1. IT will leap things foraward, by not breaking immersion (people outside the hardcore gaming) it will increase rate of adoption. For the time being a lot can be done without the positional tracking of your head. Sure, it is ideal but an add on like the original STEM could be a possibility, or a low profile hand held.

    Other things to consider are the integration of Project Tango. next blue tooth protocol (cant remmeber what it is called, meant for ad hoc networks and IoT) and even EEG/tCDS integration but that’s all a ways off. But maybe something to think about as these smart phone shoehorn units unveil themselves and try to beat the rift to the market.