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Oculus Rift teardown reveals Samsung Galaxy Note 3 display inside

iFixit has taken apart the new Oculus Rift Dev Kit 2, revealing that the headset's display is taken directly from Samsung's Galaxy Note 3.
August 1, 2014

Technology enthusiast amongst you will probably already know a bit about the Oculus Rift virtual reality project. The hardware is still in the development stage, but the second iteration of its development kit has just started heading out to purchasers. The folks over at iFixit have taken apart the new Development Kit 2, revealing a rather interesting fact about the device’s display.

The teardown reveals that the Oculus Rift DK2 features the Samsung Galaxy Note 3’s 5.7-inch 1080p Super AMOLED display. Quite literally too, as the DK2’s display comes complete with speaker and camera holes, a home button port, and the familiar Samsung logo, once you peel back the rubber case. On a more technical note, the display seems to have been overclocked to 75Hz, up from the Note 3’s standard 60Hz refresh rate.

Samsung Note 3 panel

This is not as odd as it first seems, however, as Oculus and Samsung agreed to partner up and share some of their technological wisdom with each other earlier in the year. Two of the major requirements, and hurdles, for virtual reality are that it requires a pixel dense display to avoid creating a “screen door” effect when the user’s eyes are close to the panel. The other requirement being a high refresh rate, preferably above 60Hz, to help avoid motion sickness. Samsung’s industry leading mobile display technology seems like a natural fit for these requirements.

The other half of the deal between the two companies apparently involved Oculus lending some of its technology to Samsung. Interestingly, it wasn’t long after the deal that rumors suggesting that Samsung would be working on its own Gear VR technology for smartphones began to appear.

A lot has been happening on the virtual reality front this year, even Google had a go at it during this year’s I/O. We’ll just have to wait and see if Samsung’s half of this deal will bring VR to Android.