Congratulations to Facebook and Oculus VR, whose Oculus Rift virtual-reality headset is reportedly set to receive the consumer-electronics industry’s highest honor: getting ripped off by Samsung.
The South Korean conglomerate plans to launch its own virtual-reality gaming headset later this year, Engadget and Business Insider reported Thursday. The former speculates that the device will connect to your Samsung phone or tablet to display Android-powered games in VR form. If true, the news would cement VR headsets as the trendiest tech toy of the moment.
The honor isn’t entirely unexpected: Oculus’s device had already spawned a Sony knockoff, a slightly lesser laurel that nonetheless is considered a strong leading indicator of trendiness. If getting copied by Samsung is like winning an Oscar, a Sony clone is like a Golden Globe.
Still, virtual reality shouldn’t get too comfortable at the top of the tech heap. After all, it was just a few months ago that everyone was talking about Samsung copying Google Glass, a product that some have deemed a failure before it has even officially launched.
And remember, as prestigious as it is to have your product reverse-engineered by the folks back in Seoul, it isn’t always a boon for business. Sure, Apple’s iPhone and iPad are holding their own against Samsung’s lookalikes. But Apple wouldn’t keep dragging the company to court if it didn’t think the competition was taking a bite out of its bottom line.
Meanwhile, Samsung is getting so fast at fast-following that it’s starting to release its imitation devices even before the originals hit the consumer market. Its Galaxy Gear smart watch, for instance, was initially seen as a response to Apple’s rumored iWatch—but it’s now been available for months, and the iWatch has yet to materialize. Then again, maybe that’s because Apple’s waiting to see if it can make a smart watch that‘s actually useful before it releases anything to the public.
Still, Samsung’s entry into the VR game might serve as some extra motivation for Mark Zuckerberg and company to ship an Oculus product earlier than they had planned. According to Engadget’s Ben Gilbert, Samsung is bent on announcing its headset by year’s end and beating both Facebook and Sony to market.
TODAY IN SLATE
Forget Oculus Rift
This $25 cardboard box turns your phone into an incredibly fun virtual reality experience.
The Congressional Republican Digging Through Scientists’ Grant Proposals
The 2014 Kansas City Royals Show the Value of Building a Mediocre Baseball Team
The GOP Won’t Win Any Black Votes With Its New “Willie Horton” Ad
Whole Foods Is Desperate for Customers to Feel Warm and Fuzzy Again
I’m 25. I Have $250.03.
My doctors want me to freeze my eggs.
- NSA Is Letting its Chief Technical Officer Work 20 Hours a Week for a Private Company
- After 13 Years of U.S. Occupation, Afghanistan Opium Production Is at an All-Time High
- The Pennsylvania Fugitive Sniper Is Still at Large After 39 Days
- Oscar Pistorius Sentenced to Five Years, May Only Serve Ten Months
Smash and Grab
Will competitive Senate contests in Kansas and South Dakota lead to more late-breaking races in future elections?