The mobile giant is doubling down on VR with new hardware and content.
One of Samsung’s biggest annual events, Samsung Unpacked, took place earlier today in NYC where live attendees and online spectators saw the debut of Samsung’s latest mobile effort, the Galaxy S8 and S8+. With a brand new voice-activated AI, 5.8-inch and 6.2-inch Quad HD+ displays and an accessory that converts the phone into a desktop PC, this is shaping up to be the company’s biggest device yet.
Despite the hype around their mobile technology, some of the most exciting reveals actually came from their VR department. From cameras and controllers, to content and creativity, here are all of the virtual reality announcements from Samsung Unpacked 2017:
Gear VR Motion Controller
Google changed the game back in November when they introduced the first official mobile VR headset accompanied by a motion controller. Now Samsung is introducing their own motion control solution to accompany their already-popular Gear VR headset. While the device was technically already announced last month at the Barcelona Mobile World Conference, we now know that it’s launching April 21st and will be available independently for $39, packaged together with the headset for $130, or included free with the headset if you purchase the S8 or S8+.
Samsung Gear 360 Camera 2.0
One of the best 360-degree consumer cameras is back and better than ever. The latest rendition of the already stellar camera features a slimmer design, an improved camera capable of 4k video, support for iOS (huge news) and Facebook/YouTube live streaming functionality. Game changer again.
The new design also features a convenient grip on its base, making it much easier to control while recording on the move. You’ll be able to check out samples of the new model relatively soon, as each live attendee received their very own camera to begin capturing the event immediately.
Increasing Catalog of VR Content
Of course what’s the point of any of these new products if there’s no immersive content to actually enjoy them with? To accompany this new line of virtual reality products Samsung has announced a respectable amount of new VR media users will be able to enjoy with their fancy new hardware.
To help celebrate the upcoming release of Ghost In The Shell, Samsung has partnered with the feature film to build an immersive VR experience set within the futuristic crime thriller. Also announced were collaborations with companies like Live Nation and UFC for 360° live streams concerts, title fights and even the Summer X Games. Finally, Samsung appears to be pushing for more user-created content as apparent by their new Stories In 360 program. It appears as though the company is hoping their new Gear 360 camera will help create a whole new collection of amateur 360° content.
Overall the event was an impressive display of Samsung’s commitment to providing quality hardware supported by fresh content that pushes the boundaries of current technology. After the Note 7 fumble, Samsung had quite a lot of work to do in order to regain the trust of consumers. After seeing the many features of the new S8, the new advancements to the Gear 360 and the continued commitment to VR, it’s safe to say they’re definitely back on the right track.