Product rollouts from large tech companies can often be hard to follow. Samsung’s Gear 360 VR camera, for example, went up for pre-order in the US earlier this month following a full launch in South Korea, but hasn’t been seen anywhere else. That’s changed this week.
As spotted by T3, Gear 360 can now be pre-ordered in the UK. Online retailer MobileFun is offering the kit for £299.99. That works out to around $430, while South Korea’s 399,000 won price tag translates to about $340. Expect the final US price to fall somewhere in between these two. We’re also still not sure when the device will be making its first full shipments, though Samsung was pretty liberal with handing them out at its developers conference earlier this month. Hopefully it’s sooner rather than later.
Gear 360 records 2D 360 degree content and is about the size of a tennis ball. It’s one of the first real shots at an affordable VR camera for the mass market, though Samsung is still prepping it’s much more advanced, professional camera in Project Beyond. This is no slouch, though; Gear 360 records at a resolution of 3840×1920 and takes 25.9MP photos. That said, the lack of 3D capture is disappointing. Any footage shoot can then be displayed on the Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 edge smartphones.
Of course that also means the device runs with Gear VR, the company’s mobile VR HMD that’s made in partnership with Oculus VR. Samsung is working to integrate the camera closely with the kit’s ecosystem, including allowing for easy uploading to its 360 video streaming platform, Milk VR. You can also expect to see Gear 360 videos popping up on the likes of Facebook later down the line, which is joining Samsung in placing a big emphasis on this new medium.
You can certainly start to see the formation of a new platform here. While many of us are still excited for VR gaming and other CG experiences, Samsung, Facebook and many, many more companies are going to make sure that 360 video thrives too.