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Samsung trademarks 'Gear VR' as reports of Galaxy-focused virtual reality headset swirl

Samsung has filed for a “Gear VR” trademark with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, in the latest sign that the electronics giant is planning a virtual reality headset.

Previous reports by Engadget have claimed that Samsung is working with Oculus VR on the project. Users would reportedly plug in a Samsung Galaxy phone, which would then act as the display and provide all the processing power.

The phone's rear-facing camera also could let users keep an eye on the outside world while they watch movies or play games. (Engadget claims that the camera's video passthrough would be too laggy for augmented reality.)

Overall, Engadget's unnamed sources have said they are impressed with the device, though none of the demos they tried were interactive. Oculus' involvement certainly adds credibility to what might have been another first-to-market disaster for Samsung, but it's possible the device will be a pared-down experience compared to what Oculus will eventually offer.

Oculus itself is still working on second-generation developer kits for its Oculus Rift headset, with the first orders expected to ship in July. The company, now owned by Facebook, hasn't announced a firm timeline or concrete details on a consumer version of the device, but told Ars Technica that it wants to ship a product by the end of 2015.

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