Samsung Gear VR launches web browsing feature and incredible 'Gaze Mode'

Its 'Gaze Mode' activates menus by just looking at them
By on
RTX1SCYQ
Guests use Gear VR virtual reality headsets during a preview session in Hollywood, California September 24, 2015. Oculus and Samsung Electronics unveiled a new version of Gear VR virtual reality headset for $99, half the price of the previous "Innovator Edition", and said the product would be available in the United States in time for Black Friday and globally shortly after. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni

Samsung unveiled a web browser for its Gear VR virtual reality headset today that will bring more content onto the device. It said it will release the beta version of the browser, dubbed "Internet for VR," through the Gear VR's Oculus Store.

Samsung says the Gear VR browser has a “Gaze Mode” that allows users to choose menus by just staring at them without tapping the touchpad or using the controller.

 With the browser, users can enter web addresses by using a virtual keyboard and can watch 360-degree and 3D videos hosted on the web. Samsung will also unveil an app to support the device. The app allows users to import bookmarks from their mobile devices’ regular web browser. 

Users can watch 2D videos only but the internet for VR will appeal most to users interested in two things: YouTube and adult content.

For the Samsung Gear VR, there's no YouTube app available. On the other hand, Google is focusing its VR efforts on its own Cardboard platform. Publishers of adult content are excluded from the Oculus store despite several adult websites producing 360-degree videos targeting Gear VR owners. For these publishers, the browser will make it a lot easier to reach a wider audience.

In the long run, Samsung Gear VR could gain even more by having a browser. Several VR developers have begun to making virtual reality technology based on web standards. This new tech will allow them to publish games and complex experiences on the web. There also won’t be a need to distribute apps to each and every headset.

Contact the writer at feedback@ibtimes.com.au, or let us know what you think below.

Join the Discussion