Samsung is close to releasing a Virtual Reality (VR) headset in the coming weeks that will plug into its Samsung Galaxy S4. The release should occur simultaneously in New York and Berlin. While Samsung’s product does not appear to be as sophisticated of a system as the forthcoming and game changing Oculus Rift, in the meantime it should certainly gain a strong foothold in the VR world.
Samsung seems to be making an attempt to capitalize on the growing momentum of the public’s demand for a VR system that does not make the viewer nauseous. To date, there has yet to be a VR system into which users can plug without having to contend with either vertigo or nausea. The folks in Silicon Valley and beyond have been searching for the solution for over thirty years and the search has proven fruitless so far.
Oculus, a company created by Palmer Luckey, a name that sounds like a character in a Philip K. Dick novel, is not in any rush to release anything that will not completely satisfy the masses. While Samsung’s headset essentially looks like a pair of goggles with a smartphone case attached, it seems likely to cash in on “the need to have it yesterday” crowd that inhabits the electronics world.
Unlike Oculus, Samsung is not selling developer kits to how developers can improve the product. Samsung may have apps that give users a 3D experience, but Oculus is a full 3D VR experience. Users will feel what it is like to be on a roller coaster or to walk into a movie theater, find a seat and watch a high definition film. It will not be out of the question to go to any museum in the world, walk through the halls and view great pieces of art. There are other uses as well although the dominating one will be the 3D video game sector where users most likely will be chased by zombies, fighting in a war or maybe be inside of a James Bond mission.
There is already a Game of Thrones experience created for HBO where users can feel what it is like to ride up the elevator on the wall of Castle Black which divides Westeros. Users can feel what it is like to stand at the top of the wall and look out as the wind blows through their hair and the night is illuminated by torches.
Oculus does not have a set release date yet but it has been rumored to launch sometime in 2015, although other rumors state that 2016 is not out of the question. One thing Samsung does not have which may make Oculus the driving force in VR for many years to come is the backing of internet giant Facebook, which bought Oculus for 2 billion dollars after Mark Zuckerberg saw the potential in the headset.
For now, Samsung may take the early lead in the VR market but it will not be long before Oculus Rift takes over the world. The world had has to wait, however, until Palmer Luckey, Oculus’ 21-year-old founder is ready, but he is in no hurry as he walks around the office barefoot, with disheveled hair, working on the final touches of his masterpiece.
By Steve Salazar