Exclusive: Gear 360 virtual reality camera is real, to accompany the Galaxy S7

Only a few weeks ago, the first hints pointing to a new 360 degree camera named Gear 360 surfaced. Now, with only a few weeks until Samsung’s next big Unpacked event, we can exclusively confirm the Gear 360 VR camera is real, and coming soon.

The Gear 360, likely an offshoot of Samsung’s Project Beyond, is a compact spherical camera capable of capturing 360 degree imagery using two 180 degree fisheye lenses. It can pair with a phone via Bluetooth, through the Gear 360 Connect application. The device might work with recent Galaxy flagship devices, though for now we can only confirm Galaxy S7 compatibility.

The Gear 360 (SM-C200) has its own battery, so it does not need to be connected to an external power source. Also, the device packs an unknown amount of onboard storage.

Software-wise, the package includes the Gear 360 Gallery, and a seperate remote viewfinder application. In the latter we find all the usual camera features: HDR, exposure control, white balance and ISO settings, a Liveview option, and the ability to switch between recording a 360 (dual lens) or 180 degree (single lens) front or rear view. Other view types include a mode called VR view, dual view, panoramic view, and time lapse and looping video. Maximum resolution seems to be 3840 x 1920 pixels when shooting in dual lens mode, or 1920 x 1920 pixels in single lens mode.

It is possible to watch the Gear 360′s video feed live on a connected phone, though we can not confirm the possibility to stream video to other devices. Whether streaming directly to a phone that is docked in a Gear VR is possible remains unconfirmed for now.

With the Gear 360 Samsung is once more expanding its presence in the fast-growing VR market. The Gear VR headset brought virtual reality content to a large audience at a very attractive price point. The Gear 360 could seriously lower the threshold for VR content creation, to the point where ordinary users can capture their holiday experiences as a full 360 degree immersive VR experience. Of course, how low that threshold will be, depends entirely on the pricing of the device. Unfortunately, no information regarding the Gear 360′s price is available to us at this moment.

We do, however, expect the camera to make its debut back to back with the Galaxy S7 on February 21. And considering the quantity of information already available about the new flagship phones, we would not be surprised to see the Gear 360 take centre stage, rather than play the role of modest sidekick. After all, Samsung is explicitly hinting at VR in its brand new Unpacked teaser video.

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kronicle
7 months 24 days ago

Plainly Samsung is emerging as the leader in consumer 3D HMD Technology. That is mainly because of the three big companies that jumped on the single biggest problem with 3D HMD usable by consumers right now today as a totally untethered device from any computer PC or otherwise Game Console etc! …..it’s mobile and it’s using Pranav Mistry’s 2008 TED TALK on his SixthSense Technology!

Google, Microsoft and Samsung were the three big companies paying attention back then and sponsoring Pranav’s MIT…. SixthSense’s potential. This motion Sensing and tracking along with SAMSUNG’s AMOLED SCREENS….. could bring NEW Life to 3D HMD VR Experience for everybody. Microsoft used sponsoring reward got Kinect going before everybody. Google has their VR project and Samsung actually hired Pranav to head up their new San Jose Silicon Valley R&D Skunkworks Project Team. Think Tank Team headed by Pranav has bought many things to Samsung over the last near 4 yrs. The motion sensing patents, the Air View patent, Round Ringface control patent, Gear smartwatches and Gear VR are all products from Pranav’s Think Tank Team!

This is a consumer grade camera and will actually be a new GoPro Cam competitor in some ways. Now I’m not 100% sure…… but I can definitely see these used by people to film concerts, events, home gathering to create lasting virtual moments. The size and technology used will enable Samsung to keep the price cheap and still able to get this device into the hands of far more people, than say Nokia with their basketball sized OZO 360 Camera setup.

Which both of these are a whole lot more than just a 360 view pic taker. That you could take with you and get precision results in 360, but only lose that with up and down scenes….. even on expensive 360 cameras or even phones can be used to get 360 today!

Lots of competition, but no others are end to end from design to manufacture to consumer’s hands….. quite like SAMSUNG!!!

seanroberts1
7 months 24 days ago

It sounds very much like the Ricoh Theta range of cameras, or more specifically the Theta S. It will be interesting to see how it comes on price as the Theta is £299 and whilst I’ve had lots of fun with it it’s more than most people want to pay for a gimmick

 
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