VR headsets are not the most elegant or user-friendly things around. Even if you can stay on your feet while exploring your personal Matrix, controlling things in VR mostly involves waving your hands around.
Different VR platforms have different custom-built controllers, all of which are meant to make life easier. But who needs a controller when you can just use a touchscreen smartwatch with a rotating bezel to control things instead?! Welcome to life inside Samsung R&D.
A report from SamMobile suggests that Samsung is working on remote control app for the Gear 2 and Gear 3 smartwatches, which would let users control the Gear VR from their wrists. Specifically, “once it’s connected, users will be able to go back or forward in the gallery for example by simply rotating the bezel and pressing the physical buttons to confirm their selection. The same goes for controlling VR videos and even games in which the rotating bezel can be used as an input method. The possibilities here are endless.”
What everyone seems to be forgetting is that the Gear smartwatches were designed to be user by someone with eyes. The buttons and bezel (and certainly the touchscreen control) aren’t meant to be used by someone with a phone strapped to their face. Trying to navigate around a virtual universe using a clickwheel is the opposite of user-friendly.
Luckily, Samsung hasn’t officially confirmed this app yet, so there’s still a chance that the company will kill it with fire. That would be a good thing, because Google’s newly-announced, sub-$100 VR headset comes with its own dedicated remote control. If Samsung tries to sell us on a VR headset that’s more expensive and involves using another, expensive gizmo to control it, good luck.