Tech blog Engadget is reporting word from sources "close to both companies" that hardware giant Samsung and -- now Facebook subsidiary -- virtual reality startup Oculus are collaborating on a head-mounted display setup.
The alleged collaborating actually conflicts with a previous Engadget report that suggested Samsung was designing a VR display that would compete with the Oculus Rift and Sony's Project Morpheus, whereas they are now saying that Samsung is being assisted by Oculus in creating a head-mounted device in which a Samsung smartphone can be slotted in and function as the wide field of view display -- targeting media playback, rather than VR games.
Rather than having its own screen, Samsung's VR headset uses your phone directly. It plugs in using an existing port on your phone (think: micro-USB) and becomes the screen. The headset itself has built-in sensors -- an accelerometer at the very least -- so any motion-tracking functionality is offloaded from your phone's processor.
The folks we spoke with who have dev kits are still running the headset on Galaxy S4 phones, and we're told it's a shockingly good experience. That said, the consumer device will run either a new version of the GS5 or potentially its successor -- either way, it'll be tweaked for optimal VR performance. The headset can be used with a paired game controller or as a standalone media device, navigated solely through motion and voice.
This could just all be pie in the sky R&D, but Engadget certainly makes it sound like a viable product not too far out from market. Read the full report here