Samsung’s Gear VR out in December, plus Project Beyond 3D camera system announced
Camera module will generate virtual surroundings based on the recorded footage
If you’re eager to begin exploring virtual worlds with your new Samsung Galaxy Note 4, it won’t be much longer now: the Gear VR headset shell is due out in a few short weeks.
Samsung announced the news at its developer’s conference today, noting that the first-run Gear VR Innovator Edition – targeted at early adopters – will be available in early December. An official price wasn’t mentioned, although a Samsung rep reportedly pegged it at US$199 (about £126) a couple months back.
That price is just for the Gear VR shell itself: the Galaxy Note 4 is still required to provide both the screen and brains of the operation. When placed inside the Gear VR, the Note 4 will install several Oculus-developed apps to use with the headset.
While the impending release is big news on its own, Samsung also took the opportunity to demonstrate what’s ahead for the headset: namely, Project Beyond, a 360-degree camera unit that captures 3D footage of the world around it – a gigapixel per second of it, actually.
The device has a total of 17 Full HD cameras, with 16 of those encircling the disc-like design and featuring wide 45-degree angle optics (the last camera is up top). Operators will be able to record footage or stream it live for other Gear VR owners to view.
The Verge had a chance to check out footage created with Project Beyond, and found the experience mostly impressive, albeit with some caveats – like not being able to move through the world or hear the audio from the scene.
Still, it sounds like the first step towards creating some really impressive, immersive VR experiences. Samsung says the camera won’t be available for sale right away, as it’s still in active development, but that content created with it will be available to all Gear VR users from the start.
[Source: The Verge]
READ MORE: Samsung Gear VR hands-on preview