So if you've been following my articles the past year, you know that some major brands have been developing either virtual reality headsets, started developing 360-degree content, or announced they are building a VR camera. Well, Samsung finally released more details on their new 360-degree camera system they call Project Beyond. So what makes the new Samsung camera stand out from the pack? Find out below!
I actually saw the Project Beyond prototype at the Samsung booth at PDN Photo Expo in New York City last month. Funny thing is, nobody noticed it as it sat quietly in one of the display booths because everyone was distracted by the "Back to the Future" Delorean and virtual reality headset demos they were doing. However, I'm sneaky and I know a cool VR camera when I see one.
This past year, Samsung has been taking a huge jump into virtual reality with the release of the Samsung Gear virtual reality headset in cooperation with Oculus, which is essentially a true high-end headset that is powered by their Note 4, Note 5, and S6 cell phones. It's so good in fact that I use it exclusively for all of my VR demos for advertising clients (see above).
It's only logical that Samsung would expand into making their own virtual reality camera. Here are a few reasons why I think this particular system is really cool:
1. It shoots stereoscopic 360-degree video
See how there is a pair of cameras on every side? That means it not only shoots in all 360 degrees, but it's true 3D stereoscopic. So, when you put on a VR headset and watch a video filmed by this camera, you'll actually see some depth, kind of like one of those high-end 3D blockbuster movies, but in this case you can look in every direction.
2. It's super compact, easy, and portable
It's a self-enclosed system (see the video below). No need to set up a bunch of GoPros or different cameras and then have to sync them together in post. This will all be powered by more or less simple on/off and rec/stop controls that will make things incredibly easy and save time in postproduction.
3. It will be able to stream live content
This is a big deal. This will be an awesome turnkey system for capturing live events for brands and streaming it to the web for everyone to enjoy. Current live stream VR cameras are super clunky, difficult, and low resolution. I foresee a lot of brands in the future making easier to use live-broadcasting 360 cameras.
There are no official announcements yet on pricing or when it goes on sale, but I have a feeling it will go live at the 2016 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas and that pricing will be comparable if not less than the Google Jump camera, which is $15,000. Allegedly sample content is up on Samsung's own MILK VR store, which is accessible via their Gear VR headsets powered by Samsung phones. I have not checked if they are officially live yet, though.
You can learn more on the Project Beyond website.