Samsung’s Gear VR headset has gone on sale in its online store, launching with a virtual reality web browser.
The technology giant’s virtual reality (VR) headset is the result of a partnership with Facebook-owned VR firm Oculus, and Gear VR is one of the first to be aimed at consumers rather than developers.
The headset requires a smartphone to be slotted into it to provide the viewing screen, and is compatible with Samsung’s own Galaxy S6 edge+, S6 and S6 edge devices.
Once in place, apps running on the phone are used to create a virtual reality experience – giving the impression the wearer has entered a virtual world.
Chan-Woo Park, Samsung VP, said: “As a pioneer in the mobile VR industry, Samsung has continually worked to provide our users with a fully immersive mobile experience in the evolving world of virtual reality. As the demand for 360-degree, immersive video content rapidly rises – Samsung Internet for Gear VR further enriches the VR content ecosystem for our consumers, setting an industry standard for the VR viewing experience.”
The Gear VR web browser beta is now available on the Oculus Store and includes support for voice commands and has an on-screen keyboard. It also supports both 360-degree and 3D video streaming, and any HTML5 video.
The browser has a “Gaze Mode” that will let users choose menus by simply looking at them. Users can also import and manage their bookmarks, the company says.
The voice search is provided by Google with default bookmarks, Yahoo, Google, Facebook and YouTube with a tab for more recommended sites.