Android Authority is at South by Southwest 2016, so if you’re there too, keep an eye out for our on-site team of Josh Vergara, Nirave Gondhia and Darcy LaCouvee. SXSW is a huge festival with film, music and lots more, but we’ll mostly be in the interactive areas at the Austin Convention Center because our big focus, and one of the main themes of SXSW this year, is virtual reality.
It’s perhaps no surprise that SXSW is putting VR center stage, considering how big of a splash VR is finally making in the consumer tech world, with multiple high-end consumer-ready products coming out in the next few months, including HTC Vive, Sony Playstation VR and Oculus Rift.
What to expect from SXSW 2016
Of course, Samsung has a very big presence at SXSW this year, pimping out its new Gear 360 camera as well as its Gear VR headset and Six Flags rollercoaster ride demo. Of course, it’s not all about being cooped up in a convention center or trapped inside a demo booth, so expect to see coverage from all across Austin, Texas.
Two of the coolest things about SXSW though are that it tends to focus more on startups than the huge OEMs and offers a much more creative space than your standard trade show. So you won’t get major new device announcements as much as a bunch of cool, largely unknown stuff that may well be making waves in the near future.
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Live 360 video and virtual reality
We’ll be bringing you all the latest news in VR from SXSW, so expect to see plenty of virtual reality coverage in the coming days. The first of which sees Josh giving his reactions to a panel called “Live 360 video and VR: the immersive revolution” which attempts to answer the question of whether 360VR is the future of entertainment. Take a look at snippets of the panel and Josh’s reactions in the video above.
Some of the most interesting parts of this first session were the democratization of 360 video, in the sense that it allows viewers to choose what they look at rather than being forced to accept the cameraman’s selective view. The ability to “participate” in historic events is also discussed, as is when and how 360 video content should be produced and managed. If you’re at all interested in picking up either the LG 360 VR or Samsung Gear 360 camera this year, you might want to tune in.
Have you been to SXSW? What do you think will come of VR in the next 12 months?