As if it didn't have its hands in enough product categories already, Samsung will reportedly unveil a virtual-reality headset in September.
The South Korean giant will announce the Gear VR at the IFA electronics trade show in Germany, where it is also expected to introduce the fourth edition of its Galaxy Note large-screen smartphone, according to the SamMobile tech blog.
Reports of a Samsung headset surfaced earlier this year, but SamMobile is the first to say when Samsung plans to announce the gadget. Samsung declined to comment.
The Gear VR works by connecting to users' Samsung smartphones using a USB 3.0 cable. Once connected, the smartphone's processor powers the headset while its gyroscope and accelerometer sensors give the Gear VR head-tracking capabilities. Users wear the Gear VR like a pair of glasses to achieve a virtual-reality effect. The gadget is expected to be used for gaming.
Virtual-reality headsets have had a big year, beginning with Sony's March unveiling of Project Morpheus, a prototype that works with the PlayStation 4. A few days later, Facebook entered the market by acquiring start-up Oculus VR for $2 billion. Google gave attendees at its June developers conference pieces of cardboard that they could assemble and slide their smartphones into to create a low-cost virtual-reality headset after loading a special app.
Samsung's Gear VR will function like a more sophisticated and comfortable version of Google's headset. SamMobile also reports that Facebook's Oculus VR is the company developing the Gear VR's software.
"Samsung's strategy is focused on being highly prevalent across the full spectrum of consumer electronics and home entertainment," said Geoff Blaber, an analyst who covers Samsung for CCS Insight. "Virtual reality represents a potentially disruptive technology and platform that Samsung can't afford to ignore."