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Newsfeed - June 22, 2017
Despite its corporate might, Samsung has been lagging (technologically) behind most of the major players in the VR niche, albeit not as much as Apple. Their Gear VR headset is little more than a well-made housing for a Samsung phone which then serves as the screen - and indeed the entire nuts and bolts of the system.
This means that even with the best phone with the highest resolution, you get a maximum of 600 ppi. This is admitted better than the ultra expensive HTC Vive, which offers a mere 447 ppi, but it falls short in other respects, such as head tracking. Despite this, the Gear VR has been a hit sales-wise, perhaps because of its low price-point and affordability. What Samsung loses in margin, they more than make up in volume.
However the rumor mill is now leaking stories that Samsung is developing a new Gear VR model with a 2000 ppi resolution screen. If so, we’re talking about a great leap forward in sharpness. After all the whole point of VR is make the experience realistic. Stereoscopic vision without high resolution is a wasted effort. If Samsung can pull this off, they will almost certainly leapfrog the competition - or most of it at any rate.
The thing to remember is that current screen resolution looks fine on a phone that you hold 12 to 18 inches from your face. But when it is used as a screen, an inch or so from your eyes, it becomes fuzzy and causes nausea. This threefold or fourfold increase in resolution will make the images less fuzzy and equally less likely to cause nausea.
There had been rumors as far back as March 21st that a new version of Gear VR was going to have a significantly higher resolution. But then the figure was put at 1500 ppi. If the higher figure is true it will be a massive increase over current resolutions by any manufacturer. But the question is, will Samsung go all the way and integrate the hardware into the device? Will it need to connect to something else for power and/or content?
None of this is really known.Nor yet is there any word of the launch date or the price. It is unlikely that a system at this advanced level could be brought out onto the market without a significant price increase over Samsung’s existing “housing only” model.
And yet… the rumors are still swirling...