Samsung wants everyone to create VR video.
It has become quite clear that virtual reality is a huge part of Samsung’s future mobile strategy. Today in Barcelona at the company’s Unpacked event, Samsung not only revealed that their new Samsung Galaxy S7 will be bundled with a Gear VR headset, but that they also had a new 360° camera they wanted to show us.
Gear 360 is a camera that allows you to capture 360-degree video, paired with any Samsung Galaxy S7 and S6 Edge.
At its core, the Gear 360 is like any other lower-priced VR camera out there. It can capture information on its 128GB microSD and sync with your PC for stitching and editing. But because of the new Galaxy S7’s powerful Snapdragon 820 processor, the phone can actually do all the video stitching and editing itself via Bluetooth.
The camera sports a F 2.0 lens and lets you preview live the footage from the Gear 360’s dual, 195-degree fisheye lenses that capture 30 megapixel still images up to 3840×1920 resolution. Two microphones also mean the Gear 360 can record audio in stereo.
The Gear 360 weighs in at 5.4 ounces (nearly the same weight of a new Galaxy S7) but still no word yet on price.
Gear 360 camera specs below:
Attendees who entered the city’s convention center were greeted with a Gear VR headset attached to each seat. The Gear 360 reveal kicked off by asking every attendee to put on the headset and watch a short video of young men playing soccer in the street of Barcelona filmed on the Gear 360 camera.
Samsung has already uploaded three videos showcasing footage from the Gear 360 camera and it doesn’t look all that bad.
This is a video during a ballet session shot on the Gear 360.
And finally some 360° high-flying which can always be a bit disorienting.
Other features for the Samsung Galaxy S7 announced at the Unpacked event include a new cooling system which is described as a tube of liquid that will keep your phone hopefully running more smoothly during often overheated Gear VR sessions. Samsung also added new features like screen video recording which is going to be great for sharing VR gameplay while in headset.
Leading up to the reveal, speculation had been running rampant that Samsung may add a significant update to the Gear VR’s functionality, with many dissecting the Unpacked teaser which shows the actor leaning forward and reaching towards a glowing cube. An action that some have suggested may show that Samsung finally cracked positional tracking on a mobile device, a feature that has been absent on the Gear VR platform.
The South Korean electronics giant has used the Mobile World Congress trade show as the venue for its Unpacked events over the past several years.
Samsung not only live-streamed the Unpacked event on YouTube and on their site, but the company also fittingly live-streamed in 360°. So for those of us who couldn’t attend the big event in Barcelona, with a Samsung phone and Gear VR headset in hand, you could have chosen one of four different viewpoints and look around to see every angle in VR.