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April 28th, 2016

Samsung Surprises With A Baseball-Sized 360 Degree Camera

The tools to build virtual reality content keep getting smaller and easier to use.

In his keynote speech at the Samsung Developer Conference 2016 in San Francisco, Samsung Electronics’ executive vice president and head of research and development, software and services Injong Rhee said Samsung had changed from hardware to a software company.

Rhee may be overstating Samsung’s modus operandi. If you were to extract and analyze the DNA of the South Korean manufacturer, you will find hardware. Everywhere you look at SDC 2016, Samsung hardware is on display in all its shiny glory. And virtual reality devices are the stars of the show.

The relatively low-key arrival of the Gear 360 camera was an unexpected bonus.

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The arrival of the Gear 360 camera was a bit of a surprise. Even the people manning the product booth on the expo floor were surprised by its appearance with one unnamed Samsung employee telling ARC that it was “just here when we set up.”

So what is the Samsung Gear 360? The size of a baseball, the 360-degree video camera shoots high-resolution images that capture both video and photos. The device is naturally geared towards the virtual reality market and comes with complete with front and rear lenses to capture a 360-degree view of people, places and experiences.

samsung_gear_360

Videos shot on the Gear 360 can be viewed on a virtual reality headset—the Samsung Gear VR is the obvious option. The device has been built for outdoor work and is dust and water resistant. Content can be uploaded to Samsung’s Milk VR service, with the intention being to give people a seamless 360-degree VR experience that can shared with the world.

Samsung did not confirm the price of the device at SDC 2016 but as the Gear 360 is apparently on sale from April 29, the smart money is on the camera aiming its focus at the lower end of the 360-degree video-maker market.