In a frightening and yet unsurprising turn of events, Oculus has dropped support for Samsung’s Galaxy Note 7 on its mobile Gear VR platform. The reason, as I’m sure most of you can guess, is the exploding phone catastrophe which has beset Samsung’s new flagship. Imagine, for a second, the Gear VR equipped with a Samsung Galaxy Note 7, exploding just an inch or two away from your face.
If you now try to download the Gear VR app now from the store it prevents you from running it on the Galaxy Note 7.
“Customer safety is Oculus’ top priority,” reads the message. “Oculus is removing support for all Note7 devices on the Oculus platform. Until further notice, Note7 devices will not be compatible with the Gear VR. For more information regarding the Note7 please contact Samsung directly.”
So that was a disaster just waiting to happen, but at least now, almost two months after the Note 7’s launch, your eyes are safe. The problem itself stemmed from something as simple as the battery. A malfunction within causes an electrolyte to overheat to the point of explosion.
If you do happen to have a Samsung Galaxy Note 7 now then you are advised to power it down and return it immediately, and obviously don’t try and strap it to your eyeballs.
Production of the phone has now been permanently ceased and around 2.5 million phones recalled. The Note 7 had everything the Note needed to have. Specifically the phone has a premium metallic and curved design. It has a Quad HD Display and one which is bigger than it predecessors. Above all it was the first ever smartphone from Samsung to feature Iris Recognition and Scanning. And yet it failed because of a simple (and dangerous) battery issue.
The Note series stood out from the crowd, now they stand in a rubble. Samsung's reputation is in doubt and they have lost the customer confidence they once had. It’s expected the entire saga could cost Samsung billions of dollars. From a VR and gaming point of view this is undeniably an extremely dangerous device to sell to users to attach just inches from their eyeballs, and it certainly raises a few questions about the potential safety of VR in general. We are putting a lot of faith in manufacturer's hands when we willingly envelope our heads in hardware.
Has anyone here got an exploding Note 7 in their midst? Could this be potentially damaging to VR as a whole or is it just a one-off blip? Let us know what you think!
Cheers to Shaheryar as well for co-authoring and lending his smartphone knowledge to this article!