LG Announces Mobile VR HMD And 360 Camera

by Greg Gopman • February 21st, 2016

LG showed off its G5 smartphone in Barcelona with a family of accessories planned including a head-mounted display and a Theta-like camera.

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The LG360 camera lets you take, edit, and share 360 pictures right from the LG G5. The product was unveiled by LG’s marketing director Frank Lee with a special appearance by Google’s Charles Armstrong who announced a Street View integration with the device.

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The new LG 360 VR headset was also displayed by Lee for the first time on stage.

“The LG 360 VR is foldable and weighs only a third of other VR headsets…it has 20 percent greater resolution… made possible with dedicated displays for each eye,” Lee said.

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No performance details were given on stage by Lee, however, details from the show floor reveal the headsets exact specs:

Display: 1.88″ 960×720 per eye, LCD

Optic: FOV 80° (Virtual Image 130″ @2m)

Sensors: 6-Axis (Gyro and Accelerometer) Proximity Sensor

Input: 2 keys (back, select)

Others: USB Type-C, Controller IC, Light Blocker, 3.5Φ Ear-Jack

The device also uses glasses-like stems, instead of the typical head strap, to keep itself in place. It is also worth noting that LG’s headset has its own onboard displays rather than using the screen of the phone itself. However, LCD screens have been dismissed by much of the VR industry due to the persistence and latency issues they provide. These issues, and the exact FOV of the headset, were explained in an interview with LG Product Manager Tae Su Kim.

“[The FOV is] 53 degrees horizontal and 80 degrees vertical,” Kim said.

He then added, when asked about the decision to use LCD screens, “OLED is a little bit expensive. We want to make a casual device…We are focused on slick design and light weight.”

Despite this cost-cutting decision, when pressed, Kim said that the final price of the LG 360 VR will likely be higher than the $99 Samsung GearVR which uses a smartphone for display and tracking.

To round out the reveal, Qualcomm’s CEO Steve Steven Mollenkopf announced alongside Lee that the LG 360 VR headset will be the first mobile VR headset to take advantage of the company’s Snapdragon A 20 mobile processor. The processor, according to Mollenkopf, will allow photographers to take “DSLR quality photos” and gamers to enjoy “3D quality gaming.”

Easy integration of these peripherals will happen through the LG Friends Manager app. The app touts a “No Settings. 3 steps” tagline, claiming that each accessory can be paired with the LG G5 without opening settings and only making three inputs on the device.

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“It will automatically link with all the LG friends nearby and take care of all the settings for you. No more manuals,” said Lee.

Price, release date, and content for the LG 360 VR headset and camera have yet to be determined. When updates are made available we will be sure to bring them to you.

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