We always knew that Samsung is serious with virtual reality because the company has been introducing VR products the past couple of years. First attempt was the Galaxy Gear VR which was exclusively compatible to the Note 4. Another version was produced: the Samsung Gear VR Innovator Edition. There’s also the Galaxy Note 5 Gear VR and the Gear VR Innovator Edition for Galaxy S6 and S6 edge. The South Korean tech giant is bringing it to more people with a consumer version that is now available for only $99.

In November 2014, Samsung showed off the Project Beyond. It’s described then as a true 360-degree camera and looks like the project is a success. Along with the Galaxy S7 and S7 edge, Samsung will be releasing a 360 degree camera. Yup, it’s the sci-fi looking camera the company showed off more than a year ago.

Samsung Gear 360 is a special spherical camera that can capture 360-degree imagery with the use of a couple of 180-degree fish eye lens. We’re assuming it works with Galaxy devices but we’re not sure yet if it will only be compatible with the newer models like the S7 and S7 edge. Device works with the Gear 360 Connect app and connects via Bluetooth and probably WiFi.

At first, I thought it’s a Samsung NaviBot (robot vacuum) but it really is a more polished version of the Project Beyond. This one comes with a rechargeable battery, still unknown built-in storage, and a number of camera features. The two 180-degree cameras come with the standard features like white balance, ISO settings, exposure control, HDR, and Liveview. It offers several modes like time lapse, looping video, panoramic view, VR view, and view. As for resolution, it will be 1920 x 1920 in single lens mode and 3840 x 1920 in dual lens mode.

We’re not certain yet if this Gear 360 can stream videos to a Gear VR and other mobile devices but we don’t see any reason why not. Imagine this 360-degree camera roaming around and then livestreaming whatever it sees or capture to people.

We’ve been saying that virtual reality will be bigger this year but that will only happen if there are more VR content that will be produced and released. Truth is, it’s not easy to create VR images but Samsung aims to make it a breeze with the Gear 360. This is only the first generation VR camera but we’re hoping this will be a game-changer. Oh, it definitely will be especially if Samsung makes it affordable to more people.

VIA: SAMMOBILE