After hearing about the partnership between Oculus VR and Samsung, many wondered what kind of results would come from the leader in virtual reality technology working with the South Korean electronics giant. Now we know. Oculus VR is using a modified screen from the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 as the center of its second development kit.
The 5.7-inch Super AMOLED 1080p screen from the Galaxy Note 3 serves as a marked upgrade from the screen used in the first development kit that Oculus produced following its wildly successful 2012 Kickstarter campaign. The original dev kit suffered from a low resolution display of just 640 x 800 per eye. This caused an issue called known as the "screen door" effect where the users could easily see the lines between pixels, making images appear as if you were looking at them thorough a mesh screen door.
The Galaxy Note 3 screen will deliver a resolution of 960 x 1080 to each eye for an increase of over 200 percent. Other changes include raising the refresh rate of the Galaxy Note 3 display from 60 Hz to 75 Hz to meet the new requirement from Oculus VR.
Samsung still has plans to release its own virtual reality device and will be getting some of the software used to power the Rift in exchange for the Galaxy Note 3 displays. Hopefully this will prevent the kind of hardware shortages that caused shipment of Rift dev kits to be suspended back in February.
Pre-orders for the second development kit priced at $350 began in March. Oculus has delivered 10,000 of the 45,000 pre-orders earlier this month, with shipments continuing on into the fall. The second kit includes new features like low-persistence motion tracking, latency reducing software and an infrared camera.
With no timeline for a final consumer-ready product, this new dev kit will have to suffice. But now that major tech players like Sony and Microsoft are planning their own VR systems, there may be more pressure for Oculus to lead the way with its new dev kit.