As for the hardware itself, Cohen says that it's still technically an Innovator Edition, but that doesn't mean it's not consumer-ready. "[The Innovator Edition] label shows we still have work to do, but right now it's not nearly as much work compared to awhile back." Indeed, from the hardware perspective, Cohen says that they feel very good about the quality. The software is also starting to get there. "During the Gear VR for Note 4 timeline, a lot of the messaging was that the device was great but Oculus was telling you not to buy it. That's not the message here for the S6."
But that doesn't mean you should toss out the old Gear VR either. "Because the software gets updated, the Note 4 gets all the benefits that the S6 has as well." Some of those benefits include updates to Oculus Cinema, the ability to stream 360 photos and more. "The difference between this Gear VR and the one for the Note is not night and day. I wouldn't throw my Note away in the trash."
Indeed, Cohen offered a hint that we could be expecting even more out of the Gear VR team in the near future. "We're going to make VR accessible to a very large market," he says. "Our eyes are towards the fall. It's when we think consumer VR will really take off for mobile." While he wouldn't offer specifics, I have to assume there'll probably a new Samsung handset coming out later this year, along with possibly a new headset as well.
I also asked Cohen if progress on the Gear VR would affect anything over on the Rift side of things (which, incidentally, should finally roll out to consumers in early 2016). "We've learned a lot about what people want," he says. "How do people navigate, how do they purchase apps, do they want to purchase in VR or on their phones ... We're learning a lot on how to make the Rift experience better." Additionally, he says that a lot of the content on Gear VR can be ported over to the Rift and vice versa.
As far as non-gaming uses go, Cohen told us that Oculus has been experimenting with social cinema, or the ability to watch movies together even though you and your friends are spread out around the world. "I personally think social interaction is one of the most compelling usecases for VR," says Cohen. "Watching a movie together, going through photos, watching cat videos ... Having that emotional connection and presence as if they're there with you. I think that's what's going to drive VR usage." Indeed, the potential for social VR is one of the reasons Facebook was so interested in Oculus, and it's also a key reason as to why Oculus agreed to be a part of Facebook.
However, the team's main focus is still games. "I take it with me when I travel," says Cohen, adding that he sometimes wears it on the plane. "It lets you escape the confines of your economy class seat and feel like you're in a huge space." He did offer a warning if you plan on doing this though. "Just remember that you're wearing a headset and not to whack the person next to you."
For even further impressions of the latest Gear VR for the Galaxy S6, stay tuned for our full review.