Update: Samsung reached out to clarify to us that this announcement only applies to select regions, including Korea and states: “We’ll have more information to share on US pricing and availability soon.”
When the Samsung Gear 360 was first showcased at MWC earlier this year, the little eyeball certainly turned some heads. However, in the intervening time, we haven’t heard much about the Korean tech titan’s consumer-grade 360 camera. At the unveiling, Samsung didn’t announce a date of release or a price tag, but now we know at least one of those: April 29.
That’s right. Even though the Gear 360 is slated to hit the market in a scant two days, we still don’t have a price for it. This is a pretty important piece of information, because affordability will likely be the linchpin that determines the success of the device. The above release date applies to certain regions only – including South Korea – and sadly, the Gear 360 won’t be hitting the US just yet, although more information on US pricing and availability is expected to be revealed soon.
Most available 360-degree video shooters on the market right now are professional grade quality. With the Gear 360, Samsung is making a push to bring 360 video to the masses. The general consumer market is an important one to reach because immersive video is still a brand new medium. A ‘language’ of 360 video – which is to say, a set of conventions for relaying meaning to the audience – hasn’t been developed yet since concepts like framing and stage left and right have gone out the window. The best way to kickstart this development process is to get the technology into the hands of as many creators as possible. Since 2016 is shaping up to be the official dawn of commercial virtual reality, and 360 video is heavily interlinked with VR, the time to sell commercial 360 video tools is now.
The Gear 360 has a simple, portable design that can rest easily on an accompanying tripod. It sports two f/2.0 fish-eye lens that each rock a 15MP camera, and it’s dust and water resistant so you can take it on the go. The device will go on sale starting Friday, but the price is still under wraps. What would you expect to pay for a device like this? Let us know your estimation in the comments below!