Since the beginning of the digital age with the humble PC of the 1990’s, there’s been a constant murmur about how virtual reality will affect our future world.
As Samsung announced their S7, in the midst of a flurry of media activity, it seemed that the virtual reality that has always seemed a futuristic prospect, had finally stepped out of the silver screen and arrived in the here and now.
In this article, we look at just where we are in terms of virtual reality and why it is now truly becoming a reality.
Since the release of the first Galaxy back in 2010, Samsung has achieved incredible things, gaining serious ground on the previously unshakeable world leaders that were Apple and their iPhone.
Along with the S7 came high expectations, and Samsung, known for innovation and fresh ideas, didn’t disappoint. Yet it was the Virtual Reality (VR) headsets that truly stole the show, with Samsung launching the phone with a Gear VR placed upon every seat, pre-loaded with impressive demonstrations of just what this hardware could achieve.
This, alongside a launch offer of providing a free Gear VR for those who pre-ordered the Samsung Galaxy S7, as well as the seriously attractive headset launch price of just $99 over in the US, was a strategic move to penetrate interest within Samsung’s virtual reality offering, and quite an offering it is too.
The virtual reality realm isn’t merely one that’s being defined by Samsung. Other VR headsets currently include the PlayStation VR and the HTC Vive. However, it is the Oculus Rift brand that has often been synonymous with virtual reality, as they have gone from strength to strength following their initial Kickstarter funded campaign. These are the people responsible for the tech that’s gone into the Samsung Gear. Samsung and Oculus Rift make for a formidable force who, together, appear to have guaranteed mass market adoption for the Samsung VR Gear. So, just what can this piece of kit deliver?
Well as a starting point the Samsung Gear already has a wealth of games to choose from, such as AltSpaceVR, LeBron James: Striving for Greatness, Samsung School of Rugby and Space Agent, with more titles being added all the time.
Beyond gaming however, VR headsets such as the Samsung Gear are showing unparalleled opportunities for a wide range of other applications, such as the VR TV show ‘Gone’ which is a hybrid between 360 TV and gaming. 'Gone' allows you to interact and take part in the scenes around you. This, along with being able to browse the internet, visit virtual reality chat rooms and view 360 photos (which is handy if you’re an owner of the new Samsung 360 camera) demonstrates VR as a viable piece of tech that goes beyond the gaming realm.
Whilst there is still plenty of room for advancement, for example, the bulkiness of the average VR kit could be improved upon, as well as the range of games and applications on offer which are currently limited, it nevertheless seems that the coming few years will really see the adoption of VR that we’ve long since envisaged. What’s more, with Samsung’s technology adversaries, Apple, yet to make a move within this market, we could well soon be seeing some impressive next generation innovation from the company that is famed for redefining technology.