The Galaxy Rift? Samsung may dive into virtual reality. (+video)(Read article summary)
Interest in virtual reality technology is growing by the day, and new reports indicate that Samsung is the latest company to develop a VR headset. Who will make it to market first?
The Galaxy Virtual Reality Headset? Samsung is making it happen, according to new reports.
Tech website Engadget is reporting that Samsung is working on a virtual reality headset that will rival Sony’s Project Morpheus and the Oculus Rift, which was recently bought by Facebook. The hope is to expand into yet another wearable tech market following updates to the Galaxy Gear smart watch, and potentially launch by the end of this year. With three major companies moving quickly toward the virtual reality market, interest in the nascent technology is picking up.
Though Samsung has worked with Google on Android products in the past, Engadget’s sources say the Samsung virtual reality headset won’t be a Google Glass replica. Rather, it will be a full on virtual reality headset that will offer options for games and interactive programs. It will have an OLED screen, and may be able to connect to Samsung smart phones. Sources say that the gadget will be priced to undercut Oculus and Sony as the race to the market picks up speed, though by how much is not yet clear.
Though Samsung declined to comment on the news, wearable tech seems inevitably on the horizon for the South Korea-based technology company. Rumors of the virtual reality headset come only a week after sources reported Samsung is working on a Google Glass competitor, and just a few months after Samsung released the second version of its Galaxy Gear smart watch.
Samsung is also far from the only tech company with an eye on virtual reality. Facebook recently bought Oculus, a Kickstarter-funded virtual reality company that has made waves with its Rift gaming headset. Sony also demoed a virtual reality gaming headset for the PlayStation 4 at a gaming conference in March. GameFace, a startup from Canada, debuted an Android-based virtual reality headset at the same conference. Though there are plenty of prototypes, neither of these virtual reality headsets has yet gone on sale – most believe they won’t debut commercially until next year.
But that doesn’t mean they aren’t testing. Oculus announced that it is rolling out its Rift headset to 29 Chuck E. Cheese restaurants over the next six weeks, allowing kids (and likely a few tech-obsessed adults) to try out the headsets for just a few tokens. Even if Samsung undercuts the Rift's price and beats it to mass market, rewarding new users with game tickets is a smart move when it comes to new technology.