Samsung’s Gear VR headsets are designed to work exclusively with Samsung Galaxy phones; they’re not universal virtual reality viewfinders like Google Cardboard. But one developer has discovered a way to get them working with third-party devices with Quad HD displays.
It makes sense for Samsung to lock down the Gear VR so that only Galaxy owners can use it. As far as mobile VR goes, it’s one of the best experiences out there, so it’s a selling point for Samsung’s latest devices. If you want Gear VR, you need to buy a Samsung phone. But that could be about to change, thanks to a recognized developer on the XDA Developers forum.
“Dc13” has extracted the files necessary to get Gear VR working on third-party devices, and has tested his “patch” on his own LG V20. He has also released an archive of the necessary files, which must be added to a ROM’s “build.prop,” and a document that explains how to use them. Sadly, this isn’t a flashable ZIP file that anyone can install with ease.
Instead, the files must be integrated into a custom ROM by its own developer. Dc13 is calling for ROM creators to “work together to get this on every device that is running 1440p [Quad HD] screens,” and it probably won’t be too long before we see the first ROMs with Gear VR compatibility baked in.
Until then, we can only wait. However, this is a significant step in making Gear VR headsets compatible with third-party smartphones. Well done, dc13!