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Gear 360 VR Camera – Samsung’s Latest Foray Into Virtual Reality

Samsung Gear 360 VR Camera

After recording disappointing sales for Galaxy S6, Samsung is trying to get back to profitability with the S7 and S7 Edge that is its strongest attempt to get back into making a strong impression in the mobile world. The company has recorded nearly 40% year-on-year drop in sales, citing a very difficult business environment.

The Gear 360 VR Camera is Samsung’s latest foray into virtual reality with enough apps, experiences and games. The company is looking to expand its incredible library of 360 -degree videos too to support the spherical camera.

The Gear 360 includes two 180-degree lenses within its form factor. The user can switch between 360 and 180-degree video recording too with recorded 3840 x 1920 footage in dual lens mode while 1920 x 1920 resolution videos can be captured in single lens.

Gear 360 – Capturing Photos Takes a 360-degree Turn

The Gear 360 is part of Samsung’s Project Beyond camera project and scheduled to be launched with the Galaxy S7 at the Samsung’s Unpacked Event to be held on 21 February. The event is expected to be held at MWC in Barcelona with some new titbits about the camera itself.

Samsung had revealed that there will be some VR-based news soon. With Gear 360 connected over Bluetooth to the smartphone, one could watch live feed on the phone itself as it records the scenes. The specs of the Gear 360 are still shrouded with mystery but it is expected that it will have its own battery although the exact idea of its capability to shoot and keep running is not revealed yet. The camera is expected to include settings including the ISO status, HDR, exposure and colour balance. The Gear 360 VR camera will also feature a panorama mode, a looped video setting and time lapse video.

Salient Features of Gear 360 VR Camera

  • The Gear 360 is a compact spherical camera capable of capturing 360-degree imagery.
  • Uses two 180-degree fisheye lenses for shooting videos.
  • Galaxy S7 is likely to ship with a fast processor like Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 820 or the Exynos 8890 with 4 GB RAM to power its active memory.
  • A 12-megapixel rear camera will accompany a 5 MP wide-angle “selfie cam”.
  • One can pair the phone via Bluetooth with Gear 360 Connect application.
  • Works with Galaxy flagship devices, although no compatibility inputs are available as of now.
  • Includes its own battery, without need for external power source along with onboard storage.
  • Software package includes Gear 360 Gallery, a remote viewfinder application with usual camera features, a Liveview option, and recording modes of 360 (dual lens) or 180 degree (single lens) view.
  • Views include VR view, dual view, panoramic view, and the like. Features such as time lapse and looping video is part of its arsenal.
  • Maximum resolution is 3840 x 1920 pixels (dual lens) and 1920 x 1920 pixels (single lens).
  • One can watch live video feed from connected phone although direct streaming support is not confirmed.

The Expected Impact on VR World

The Gear 360 VR Camera can lower the threshold for VR content creation wherein people can record their experiences with a complete 360-degree immersive VR experience. Samsung has not revealed the price point yet but analysts suggest that the price will be pretty cheap. The high end rigs using multiple GoPros is aimed for movie studios but Gear 360 is expected to be targeted for the regular crowd.

One would expect Gear 360 to take centre stage during Samsung’s Unpacked event on Feb 21 as Project Beyond is soon going to be realized as part of the company’s plans for the future. In addition to Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 Edge, Gear 360 will make a drastic impression for sure.

Rajiv Patil
Rajiv is one of the founders of Nimblechapps, a web and mobile development company based out of India. At Nimblechapps he overlooks delivery, product development and often lends a hand to the in house development team. His personal interest include Travel, Food and Motorcycling.