The Gear VR is an exciting piece of kit. It's a virtual reality system that relies on your mobile phone to work, and doesn't need to be tethered to a PC. A bit like Google Cardboard, but far more durable and stylish. It is far from perfect though, and luckily the folks at Oculus who created the device are more than aware of the Gear VR's faults.
At Oculus's recent press conference the company's Vice President of Mobile, Max Cohen, said that there is a reason why the first Gear VR head set is called the 'innovator edition'. Speaking to TechRadar, he said that "We're not trying to sell millions of these devices; this is very much for early adopters, tech enthusiasts and developers," later adding "There are some things we can still improve on before we try to sell it to every single person ... We don't hide from any of the drawbacks."
According to Cohen the phone does tend to run a little bit hot at higher clock rates, which causes the phone to automatically start running at lower clock rates (in order to cool down) that are unable to reach 60 fps. Despite what the console fanboys might say, hitting 60 fps is important when it comes creating immersive VR experiences and Cohen admits that no one is going to use VR if the frame-rate isn't consistently high.
But Cohen was not above promoting the advantages of mobile VR. Unlike regular headsets like the Oculus Rift, mobile technology changes every six months or so (unless you buy Apple), which provides a fantastic way for the experience to improve relatively quickly. With Gear VR being untethered, it means you can wander around or swivel about on your chair, making for a far more comfortable headset, and opening up a wider range of VR experiences.
The most exciting thing of note is that Cohen admitted that the Gear VR is not exclusive to the Galaxy Note 4, stating that "There are lots of other devices that are coming out every six months that we have the opportunity to push hardware and do neat stuff." The big follow-up question is to ask whether the hardware in question is made by Samsung, or if other manufacturer's phones can get in on the action.
We don't know what the future holds for mobile VR, but it's certainly good to know that the people behind it are ready to admit where improvement is needed. [TechRadar]