Samsung launches Gear 360
Samsung’s latest Gear-branded device is a 30 megapixel 360 degree camera on a very cute stand.
It isn’t just smartphones that get launched at Mobile World Congress. If it’s even remotely portable, or ties into the mobile ecosystem in some way it is often tied into the general MWC hype.
Alongside the expected Samsung Galaxy S7 and Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge, Samsung has also launched its own take on a 360 degree camera, called the Gear 360. It’s a small spherical camera that looks somewhat like an octopus when it’s on the supplied small tripod, or perhaps a Portal turret if you’re the gaming type.
As the name suggests, the capture of 360 degree video is the Gear 360’s claim to fame. It does this with two 180 degree angle, 15 megapixel cameras on the front and back of the camera, saving to microSD storage on the device. A very small LCD display on the top shows the current shooting and storage status. You can opt to shoot with only one camera rather than two, although this limits the Gear 360 to shooting wide angle stills only. It’s IP53 rated, which means minor water splashes shouldn’t be a problem, but straight-up immersion isn’t recommended.
The Gear 360 will have a dedicated, Samsung-only Android app to allow it to connect to a compatible Samsung smartphone. Samsung representatives told finder.com.au that compatibility includes the new Samsung Galaxy S7 and Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge handsets, as well as 2015’s Samsung Galaxy S6, Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge, Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge + and Samsung Galaxy Note handsets.
Once paired via Bluetooth, you can control shooting parameters, handle live preview and save stills or footage directly to the smartphone, where the dual images will automatically be stitched together in a full 360 degree format. The app also has support for the Gear VR headset, so you can send your video direct to a smartphone connected to a Gear VR for full 360 degree VR viewing.
Samsung Australia hasn’t yet announced availability or pricing details for the Gear 360 camera.