Samsung is launching their Gear VR headset with the subhead ‘Innovator Edition’. We’ve got the full specifications, which include sub-20ms motion-to-photons latency.

Samsung Gear VR Specs:

Optical Lens

96˚ Field of View


Accelerator, Gyrometer, Magnetic, Proximity

Motion to Photon Latency

< 20ms

Focal Adjustment

Covers Nearsighted / Farsighted Eyes

Interpupillary Distance Coverage

55 ~ 71 mm

Physical User Interface

Touch Pad, Back Button, Volume Key


microUSB 1.1 connection to the Galaxy Note 4

Dimension (Headset)

198(W) x 116(L) x 90(H)mm


Available through Oculus Store

microSD Card(16GB) in-box: A collection of 360-degree videos and 3D movie trailers from major studios will be pre-loaded.

Samsung calls Gear VR “the result of a deep and integrated partnership with Oculus.” With the help of Oculus, they’ve been able to achieve sub-20ms motion-to-photons latency on the Gear VR headset powered by the Galaxy Note 4.

Oculus confirms that the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 “uses variations of the Oculus Tracker” which updates faster and is more accurate that IMUs found in smartphones today. In addition to the IMU, Oculus says they worked hard on “firmware built into the headset for extremely accurate, ultra low-latency 3DOF tracking.

“As a result, we’ve been able to achieve sub-20 millisecond motion-to-photons latency, roughly equivalent to the most highly optimized experiences on DK2,” says the company.

Oculus CTO John Carmack, who has been leading Oculus’ work on mobile VR, stepped on stage during Samsung’s IFA Unpacked press presentation to talk a bit about Oculus’ role in the new headset. Among them he mentioned the following key pieces that allow Gear VR to hit sub-20ms latency:

  • Allowing custom calibrated sensors to talk to a dedicated kernel driver
  • Enabling real time scheduled multithreaded application processes at guaranteed clock rates
  • Context prioritized GPU rendering, enabling asynchronous time warp
  • Facilitating completely unbuffered display surfaces for minimal latency
  • Supporting low-persistence display mode for improved comfort, visual stability, and reduced motion blur / judder
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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."
  • ElectroPulse

    Holy CRAP… 20ms “Motion to Photon Latency”? That’s insane! From the sounds of it, that includes pixel switching, correct? If so, that’ll be insanely awesome! I wonder if they’re specially designing a screen for this?

    Also, is this 96 degree horizontal FoV, or diagonal?

    Also, what would the proximity sensor be for? Could this be used for positional tracking in relation to the surrounding environment?

    Man, Samsung getting onto the VR scene… It just gets better and better!

    • Ben Lang

      Yup, motion-to-photon includes pixel switching. That’s the term Samsung settled on to talk about the entire chain all the way from input to the point that the photons leave the screen and head to your eyes.

      It isn’t clear if the 96 degrees is horizontal or diagonal. Proximity sensor is probably just to identify when it is on your face, that way they can launch the software when you put it on.

  • pedrw nascimentw

    It’s better than DK2 ?

  • whitedragon101

    If they are pushing 1440p through micro USB at <20ms delay does this mean Oculus CV1 could push 4K at <20ms though some connector type? What connector could do this?

    • gosnold

      The video stream stay entirely on the phone, the microUSB is used to transmit information from the sensor (gyros) inside the GearVR.