Samsung has worked with Facebook-owned Oculus Rift to launch a virtual reality headset called Gear VR.
Working with the just launched Galaxy Note Edge, Gear VR features a removable front cover where curved smartphone slips in, acting as the screen.
Paired with adjustable lenses built into the headset and a comfy strap, Gear VR turns Samsung’s next Note into a virtual reality machine.
The new kit was revealed at the Ifa tech show in Berlin.
‘Powered by Oculus technology, the Samsung Gear VR delivers a completely new way to experience and consume mobile content,’ Samsung said.
It is believed Samsung provided the hardware, while Oculus provided the software. It’s consumer headset, called the rift, is not expected to go on sale to the public until next year.
‘The Samsung Gear VR goes far beyond expectations of how mobile technology can be used to consume content, and is a powerful representation of the progressive innovation of the Gear series,’ said JK Shin, President and CEO of IT & Mobile Communications Division at Samsung Electronics.
‘We are pleased to have partnered with Oculus VR to bring this incredibly immersive mobile content experience to consumers.’
The firm has also partnered with several game development firms to develop content for the gadget.
Watch this launch video below:
‘With the Gear VR Innovator Edition, users can sit in the best seat of a theater, can be on-stage of a performance with full 360 3D video, and can enjoy gaming like it’s never been seen before – inside stunning worlds where imagination becomes reality,’ Samsung said.
In addition to the Gear VR and Galaxy Note Edge (featuring a curved screen) , the company also showed off the fourth standard version of its large-screened Note smartphone, which introduces an ultraviolet light sensor.
The sensor component provides users with a built-in way to track their exposure to sunlight if they keep the device outside of their pocket or bag.
Flagging sales and rising competitors
The announcements come at a time when Samsung Electronics is perceived to be on its back foot.
In July the division reported a 20% year-on-year drop in its net profit and dozens of executives voluntarily agreed to return part of their bonuses.
The company’s smartphone market share fell from 32.2% in the April-to-June quarter of 2013 to 24.9% in the same period this year, according to research firm IDC, despite the fact it has one of the biggest ranges of handsets.
By contrast, its Android rivals Lenovo, Huawei, Xiaomi and Motorola all made gains.
The screen of the Galaxy Note Edge wraps around part of the right-hand side of the handset
At Ifa, DJ Lee, Samsung Electronic’s marketing chief, said his firm was “focused on accelerating the speed of innovation” and promised to “never slow down”.