One of the cheapest ways to make a virtual reality headset is to take advantage of the screen everybody already has on them: a mobile phone. Samsung is building a headset that users would slip their phone into, according to a report from Engadget, and it is relying on famed virtual reality firm Oculus for help.
While Oculus is generally focused on gaming with its Rift device, Samsung wants to build a headset for media consumption, according to Engadget’s unnamed sources. In exchange for early access to Oculus’ software development kit, Samsung will give Oculus first access to its next generation of OLED screens. Oculus plans to use them to put out a final product that has higher definition than the Rift’s current 1080p.
Engadget also found that the headset will be compatible with the new Galaxy S5 or a later model. It will be controlled with motion and voice or a gaming controller. It will also add augmented reality abilities by using the phone’s back facing camera. The screen can then combine a video feed of the real world with the virtual images.
There are a ton of mobile phone-based virtual reality headsets popping up this year. And devices such as the 360cam will make it easy for anyone to begin producing media content for them. While virtual reality certainly has strong applications in gaming, it is good to see attention paid to its potential in media. I came away from a virtual cinema demo at Jaunt highly impressed, and hope to see more companies tackle the space.