Instead of introducing hand-held remote controllers like other headsets, Samsung set out to do something different by inventing a series of new input controllers for a wider range of applications.
All-New Gear VR Detachable Trackpad Accessory
Next-generation version of Gear VR illustrating a new face cover made of a clear glass substrate that will allow the Galaxy smartphone’s backside camera to take photos of the outside world, allow users to see their immediate environment and it could provide users a PIP view within the headset as noted further in the full Patently Mobile report. In this abbreviated Patently Apple report I’ll only point to the first new input accessory for Gear VR and illustrate how the new headset design will accommodate photo-taking with a drone.
One of three new Gear VR input accessories noted below can be seen connecting to a Galaxy Smartphone via a USB connector. The accessory is designed to provide users with hands-free touch screen input that will work with applications and gaming menus so as to choose options, move and/or interact with an item or object.
Panoramic and Drone Photography Applications
We’re able to see how taking a panoramic photo of a scene could be done hands free by simply clicking on that option on a Galaxy smartphone using the trackpad or wheel key input accessory and simply moving one’s head. With the face plate of Gear VR shifting to a clear glass plate, the user is free to take photos with a single finger on their input accessory. The user is also likely to take a steadier panoramic or regular shot by not having to hold their smartphone. Of course the trade-off is that you’ll look like a total nerd taking photos that way, but that’s life. Samsung also illustrates in the patent figures above that Gear VR will be able to work with future drone devices that could be controlled through the headset and various new input accessories.
Samsung filed their U.S. patent application back in October 2016. Considering that this is a patent application, the timing of such a product to market is unknown at this time. Yesterday Patently Apple posted a report titled “Apple wins Design Patents for Siri Icons in China and EU Confirming that Siri will Work with Future Smart Glasses” Apple’s design patent and two utility patents published in 2017 have shown that Apple’s headset will use Siri as a major method for controlling a future headset or smart glasses. Of course using a remote with a headset was first established by Apple back in 2010 and noted below in Apple’s patent figure, so that will likely be a secondary input methodology.