Samsung does not seem to be as concerned as Nokia about the slow pace at which VR is entering the mainstream. As such, Samsung unveiled a new 360 Round camera for recording immersive 3D experiences. The announcement comes less than two weeks after Nokia canned its premium (and ultra pricey) Ozo VR camera amid a series of layoffs as it looks to pivot into the digital health sector.
Like the Ozo, the 360 Round is equipped with multiple camera sensors and has a distinct look, though the two do not resemble each other. The Ozo looked like a modern version of Q-bert, for those of you old enough to get that reference, while the 360 Round is more puck shaped. Samsung's 360 Round also has a lot more sensors—17 lenses in all, versus eight on the Ozo. They are configured as eight stereo pairs positioned horizontally, and one single lens positioned vertically.
"The Samsung 360 Round is a testament to our leadership in the VR market. We have developed a product that contains innovative VR features, allowing video producers and broadcast professionals to easily produce high quality 3D content," said Suk-Jea Hahn, Executive Vice President of Samsung Electronics’ Global Mobile B2B Team.
Using the 360 Round, users can livestream 4K 3D video and spatial audio (by way of six internal microphones and two external microphone ports), with "little-to-no latency." It is capable of beaming 4096x2048 videos at 30 frames per second per eyeball.
Samsung is also touting durability. The 360 Round uses a uni-body chassis that is IP65 water and dust resistance for use in everyday weather conditions. On top of that, it is a fanless design, which makes the unit both lighter and quieter and than it would otherwise be.
"The growth of 360 content platforms, such as Samsung VR, Facebook and YouTube, as well as the spread of 360 videos through major media, has increased the need for high-quality 360 videos among VR professionals and enthusiasts. The 360 Round is the first product to meet these needs by combining high-quality, 360-degree imagery with advanced 3D depth at a reasonable price compared to other professional 360 cameras," Samsung added.
We will have to take Samsung's word on pricing, as that information has not yet been announced.