We all thought Samsung’s Gear 360 camera would be readily available within the US long before now. This week, however, it’s finally going on sale. Sort of.
The Korean electronics giant has announced that it will be selling its first batch of 360 degree cameras during this week’s VidCon event in Anaheim, California. The kit will be available on a “limited basis” during the event, which starts today and runs through to Saturday, and can be picked up for the rather agreeable price of $349.99.
Surprisingly, Samsung is still keeping tight-lipped about a wider release of the camera, despite it already going on sale in other countries and even being thrown out to audience members during April’s Samsung Developer Conference.
But that’s not all that’s new; the company is also announcing significant updates to its 360 streaming app, Milk VR, which runs on the Gear VR headset. Namely, it’s no longer called Milk VR. Instead the app can now simply be referred to as Samsung VR and support for user-generated content has finally been implemented. That means the lucky few that do pick up a Gear 360 this week will be able to shoot, upload and view their videos within Gear VR. That is provided that you have one of the company’s latest compatible smartphones.
Furthermore, Samsung is this week announcing a new initiative named Samsung Creators. It sees the company partner with storytellers to help them create immersive content for its new app and headset. This includes further work at VidCon; seminars and classes are being hosted to educate filmmakers on working in VR. Samsung is even working to find emerging YouTube creators and get them working with 360 video, with a specially selected line-up of examples set to premiere at this week’s event.
If you’re looking to create 360 content then we should point out that Adobe Premiere Pro was updated to support VR video editing earlier this week. Add to that the fact that Syfy is creating its own VR TV show and it certainly seems like the medium is going somewhere, doesn’t it?