Consumer virtual reality is coming of age, at least Samsung thinks it is, and a tie-in with Facebook-owned Oculus and the new Samsung Gear VR for the Galaxy Note 4 is how it will deliver it. The head-mounted display is, as the rumors suggested, an adapter to turn a smartphone into a 3D wearable; I tried the system on for size at Samsung Unpacked 2014.
Samsung isn't short on smartwatches, but the Gear S is something a little different. Wrapping a 2.2-inch curved Super AMOLED touchscreen around your wrist is one thing, but the Gear S also includes a 3G connection for use away from a smartphone. I grabbed some hands-on time at Samsung Unpacked at IFA 2014, where the Gear S has shown up alongside the Galaxy Note 4 and Galaxy Note Edge.
The stylus has redeemed itself, and it has Samsung to thank for that. The South Korean company has been hammering away at its S Pen technology since 2011, and the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 is the latest result of that work. Hardly a surprise in Berlin this week - its three generations of forebears each arrived at pre-IFA show - the Note 4 nonetheless has plenty to prove. Read on for my first impressions.
Samsung promised curved OLED in a big way, and the Galaxy Note Edge delivers, taking the new Note 4 and bending the edge of its display for an altogether unusual approach to phablets. Building on the curved Super AMOLED concept Samsung showed off last year, the Note Edge turns its right bezel into a touchscreen ticker. Question remains, is this a revolution in form-factor or just a gimmick?
Three teams of creators have shaken hands to create the Vortex VR, a virtual reality headset that uses the LG G3 as its display. This device is a result of the combined efforts of 3D Systems, LG Electronics MobileComm USA, & VR pioneers GameFace Labs for headset hardware, the LG G3 smartphone, and software for this system respectively.
Two new speaker sets have been shown this week by Samsung Electronics America, bringing about one that bows outward and another that bows inward. The Shape M3 Wireless Audio-Multiroom Speaker adds to the "Shape Wireless Audio-Multiroom ecosystem" with its smaller form factor. The Samsung HW-H7500 Curved Soundbar, on the other hand, stands alone as a compliment to your massive curved TV.
Not everything that will happen this month will go down at IFA 2014 this week. Samsung has another event scheduled for a different subset of its fans, the ones more interested in its mirrorless interchangeable lens camera line. Samsung will be holding its Premiere 2014, also in Germany, in two weeks, and the star of the show is a new NX camera, rumored to be called simply the Samsung NX1.
Samsung's products are no stranger to crystal-studded accessories bearing the illustrious Swarovski name, so this latest addition is definitely not surprise. With this new Gear S Strap, socialites and fashionistas who wouldn't want to be caught dead wearing a geeky looking piece of technology now have a new option available to them.
You may have a brand new shiny Samsung curved TV, but those flat speakers flanking it just breaks the spell of the TVs alluring curves. Luckily for you, Samsung has just announced a new Soundbar that will complement that TV with its own curves and can even take the place of the TV stand. Continuing the audio theme, the company is also outing the M3, the latest of its "Shape" wireless multiroom speakers, poised to be the smaller and cheaper of its two other siblings.