Samsung’s penchant for curves may no longer be limited to its current line of curved display televisions.
In fact, it seems Samsung’s curved displays might soon be featured in its future virtual reality headsets, according to a recent design patent the technology conglomerate filed with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
The patent, filed last year and published last week, mentions a “curved display” paired with a “mounting surface having a curvature” as well. Samsung’s previous forays into VR, such as the HMD Odyssey Plus (pictured above), already come with OLED displays and so it stands to reason that this new design patent may indicate that a curved OLED display may be forthcoming.
Samsung’s contributions to virtual reality tech have so far been well-received and include rave reviews for both its Gear VR and Odyssey headsets. Both have relatively minor drawbacks, such as only being supported by a few devices (Gear VR) and generally costing a bit more than its competitors (Odyssey). But since both of Samsung’s current VR headset lines seem to be doing just fine with their flat displays, does Samsung really need to add a VR headset with a curved display?
The answer? It couldn’t hurt to at least try. A curved OLED display might just be the VR innovation that creates a more immersive virtual reality experience.
The First Head-Mounted Displays – The Telesphere Mask and the Headsight. You might think that strapping a display on a person’s head is a relatively new idea, but it is not. The first head-mounted displays were developed as early as the 1960s. The Telesphere Mask was the first example of a head-mounted display, which provided 3D stereoscopic and wide vision with stereo sound. However, the device lacked certain immersion, because of it being a non-interactive medium. In 1961 two Philco Corporation engineers, Comeau and Bryan, came up with the Headsight. A head-mounted display, much like the Telesphere Mask, the Headsight featured magnetic motion tracking technology, which was connected to a close circuit camera. While the goggles can be named a precursor to modern virtual reality technology, they were not developed for entertainment purposes. Instead, they were developed for the military with the idea that a person would be able to immerse themselves in the remote viewing of dangerous situations.
As TechRadar notes, curved displays can provide “a wider viewing angle” which could enhance a VR headset user’s 3D experience and overall sense of peripheral vision. Plus, flat screens are less adept at providing a more complete 180-degree view.
If successful, a curved display design would be a welcome addition to Samsung’s current collection of VR headsets, especially if it manages to partner well with another company’s offerings as it did with Microsoft’s Mixed Reality and its own Odyssey headset.
(Picture it: A Samsung VR curved OLED display headset paired with Feelreal’s “odor vision” VR mask.)
As always, the possibilities with VR are exciting and Samsung’s steps toward headsets with curved displays are no exception. Now that the design patent is filed, we might be closer to a more complete VR experience.
Yesterday the U.S. Patent Office published a patent application of Samsung's relating to a new design for a head mounted display (HMD), perhaps a next-gen Gear VR headset that overcomes some of the current negatives of current designs and adds some interesting new values that users will really appreciate.
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