InnovationWearable Tech

Samsung’s Virtual Reality Headset Hits The UK

Michael Moore joined TechWeek Europe in January 2014 as a trainee before graduating to Reporter later that year. He covers a wide range of topics, including but not limited to mobile devices, wearable tech, the Internet of Things, and financial technology.

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Samsung Gear VR is now available to buy for £80 online, with a high-street release set for next year

Samsung has announced that its virtual reality headset is now available to buy in the UK.

The Samsung Gear VR can be bought from the Samsung Shop and selected O2 stores for £80, and is compatible with the company’s Galaxy S6 edge+, S6 and S6 edge smartphones.

The launch marks Samsung’s attempt to get its virtual reality experiences to as many consumers as possible, as it teams up with VR experts Oculus to push into the top space in the wearables sector when it goes on sale later this year.

Get virtual

samsung gear vrSamsung says that the new Samsung Gear VR is 19 percent lighter than the previous Gear VR Innovator Edition, and includes new foam cushioning to make the device even more comfortable to wear.

Weighing in at 318g, the headset will only be available in ‘Frost White’ colour scheme to begin with, and will connect to mobile devices via microUSB.

Users can interact with the Gear VR via a touchpad that lets them scroll through a selection of film, gaming, 360-degree video and experiential content that will all be made available for the device.

To support the Gear VR’s launch, Samsung has also announced the launch of a web browser built and optimised for the headset. Available to download now through the Oculus Store, Samsung Internet for Gear VR allows users to really immerse themselves in their internet experience and enjoy content without having to download content on to their smartphones.

The browser supports both 360-degree and 3D video streaming, as well as any HTML5 video from the web, and lets users import and manage their bookmarks. Internet for VR also comes with voice recognition to help with text input, along with an on-screen keyboard and a Gaze Mode, allowing users to select menus by simply gazing at them.

Samsung has been increasing its investment in Virtual Reality over the past few years as the technology becomes more and more popular among consumers.

It has already teamed up with the likes of Audi and Qantas Airlines to provide immersive VR experiences, namely virtual test drives of the latest road cars and high-end in-flight entertainment systems. Hotel chain Marriott is also using the company’s headsets to provide an in-room entertainment service.

The company has also invested in San Francisco-based company Fove, which says it is launching the world’s first eye-tracking VR headset.

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