Unlike the Galaxy S10 family, the Note 10 and Note 10+ are leaving the Gear VR in the lurch

Unlike the Galaxy S10 family, the Note 10 and Note 10+ are leaving the Gear VR in the lurch
Remember when virtual reality was hailed as the next groundbreaking technology for both the mobile and PC industry? Even though it might feel like an eternity, it actually wasn't that long ago when Samsung unveiled the first edition of its Gear VR headset to pretty great fanfare, while Google tried its hand at something similar with the Cardboard and Daydream platforms.

But although the Google Daydream and Samsung Gear VR product lineups were never explicitly discontinued, they both kind of... disappeared. The most recent Gear VR variant, for instance, has just turned two, and after (discreetly) supporting the Galaxy S10 handset family, it's now dropping its compatibility for the company's newest high-end smartphones. Yup, both of them.

In an official statement issued to the folks over at Engadget, Samsung confirmed the news that was initially shared by Anshel Sag on Twitter, highlighting (once again) its commitment to "innovating in VR and AR" and "deliver incredible new experiences to our consumers." Unfortunately, it remains unclear what this actually means in terms of new hardware and software support, but keep in mind that one of the ways the company is indeed "innovating" in the augmented reality field is through complex camera systems like the one slapped on the back of the Galaxy Note 10+.

That big guy's fourth shooter is a "DepthVision" or time-of-flight sensor that uses advanced AR technology to perform real-time measurements of objects and spaces located in the phone's field of view. Meanwhile, Samsung also sells a so-called "mixed reality" headset for $500, which doesn't need to be paired with a smartphone or computer to work its magic. That might explain why the significantly cheaper but also rudimentary Gear VR, which is practically useless by itself, is quietly and unceremoniously going away. 

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6 Comments

1. oldskool50

Posts: 1320; Member since: Mar 29, 2019

As with any platfrom, no matter how good somethign may be, without support from devs; it's DOA. I've had 4 Gear VR's and I gave them away mostly because I ended up having a phoen that didn't fit them anymore. But the thing was too heavy for any use for more than maybe 30 mins. The games were way to expensive and I don't see the benefit of watch a movie I've already seen in VR mode. I got borad with them. I think out of the 4 I had, I actually only opened one of them. But when I sold the phone, I included the Gear VR in the sale just to get rid of them. Good idea, poorly executed and poorly supported. Samsung has to find a way to get more devs onboard to support good hardware. Until they do, it's really difficult to get onboard. Same issue with their watches. Great hardware, poorly supported. With poor support, that means low sells.

2. midan

Posts: 2707; Member since: Oct 09, 2017

R.I.P mobile VR. Tech which no-one asked and yet companies tried so much to push it for phone users. Samsung gave few years them free when you bought something from them. Second hand stores were and propably still is full of those because no-one didn’t want to keep them even free. I knew since day one that this is DOA. Tech was and still is super awkward and clumsy and heavy.

4. rkoforever90

Posts: 434; Member since: Dec 03, 2011

It's gonna make a come back some time in the future.

5. Mike88

Posts: 321; Member since: Mar 05, 2019

Mobile VR was a good tech but Samsung always ditch their good things to make their phones as close as possible to iPhones. They bring something and if apple bring it too, they keep it otherwise ditch it. VR lovers should buy PS VR if not already did. They are still investing in the tech seriously.

6. lgrrobert

Posts: 1; Member since: Aug 09, 2019

It was poorly supported from launch til death, and never had more than a few good titles that really pushed the tech. Also, the units were rife with calibration and tilt issues, despite the beefy sensors included. I have a gear vr with controller just for VR UI prototyping and found the oculus experience to be as if they never took the device seriously and just wanted tech demos to be the draw. Oh well. Bye, Felicia.

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