Samsung will debut its recently rumored Gear 360 virtual reality camera at its Galaxy Unpacked 2016 gala Feb. 21 at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain, where it is also slated to unveil its upcoming Galaxy S7 smartphone models.
The coming debut of the Gear 360 VR camera at MWC was reported Feb. 1 by SamMobile.com, which said the device will have dual lenses to provide 180-degree or 360-degree images. The Gear 360 will also have its own battery power as well as traditional camera features, including HD recording, exposure control, white balance and ISO settings and a VR view mode, the article reported.
The Galaxy Unpacked 2016 showcase will begin at 5 a.m. ET on Feb. 21 and will be streamed live on YouTube and through the Samsung newsroom Website, according to a recent eWEEK story. Samsung presently offers its Galaxy S6, S6 Edge and S6 Edge+ smartphones in its S6 lineup, with its new S7 updated replacement models expected at the Unpacked event. The Mobile World Congress event runs Feb. 22 to 25.
The Gear 360 will "likely [be] an offshoot of Samsung's Project Beyond camera" efforts and "is a compact spherical camera capable of capturing 360-degree imagery using two 180-degree fisheye lenses," the article reported. The Gear 360 can connect with selected Samsung smartphones using Bluetooth via a Gear 360 Connect app.
The camera will also include on-board storage but the amount of storage is not yet known, the article reported. Software will include the Gear 360 Gallery application and a remote viewfinder application.
No pricing information is yet available for the camera.
Samsung's related Gear VR virtual reality headset, which went on sale last fall for $99.99, allows users to view video games, movies and more in immersive new ways. The Samsung Gear VR is a less-expensive, consumer version of virtual reality headsets made by Oculus, which give users the ability to dive deeper into VR games and to have 360-degree video experiences.
The Samsung Gear VR headset weighs 22 percent less than the previous Gear VR Innovator Edition, and includes improved foam cushioning for better user comfort, the company said. The Gear VR's touch-pad has also been upgraded and improved, giving users greater control when operating the unit with games, movies and other content. The Samsung Gear VR is available in Frost White and can also be purchased through Amazon and Best Buy.
To use the Gear VR headset, a compatible Samsung smartphone is snapped into the device and it then can be used with an app on the phone. Users can then play a game, take a virtual vacation or watch a movie using the device. The Gear VR touch-pad controls include a back key, a volume key and a focus adjustment wheel. The Gear VR also has built-in gyro, accelerometer and proximity sensors.
Users can play immersive VR games or share 360-degree video experiences with friends with the Gear VR as they use head movements to explore, aim and interact in new ways to play and be entertained. A wide variety of content is also available through the Gear VR, turning the device into a home theater with almost limitless possibilities.