YouTube Makes Series of Announcements at VidCon (Jun 23, 2017)
GoPro Pre-Announces New 360° Camera for Commercial Use (Apr 20, 2017)
Samsung Updates Gear VR and Gear 360 Camera (Mar 29, 2017)
Two other smaller announcements from Samsung today on top of its phone and smart home announcements concern its VR and 360 degree camera accessories, both of which got an update today. The Gear VR is easily the VR headset with the biggest base today, thanks largely to its aggressive pricing and bundling by Samsung in combination with its smartphones. That doesn’t mean it’s the best experience out there, and in fact it’s been a somewhat frustrating one because the controller was an awkward trackpad on the side of the headset. But the new version solves that with what looks like a really good separate hand-held controller, along with other improvements. This is the same approach as the Google Daydream View takes, and it works very well in that device, so this should make the Gear VR better too. The Gear 360 debuted last year, but was pretty limited, being designed more for stationary use at, say, a party rather than as an action camera for use on the go. The new version has 4K video and a new design better suited for on-the-go use. As with the other announcements, we’ll have to wait until reviews come out to know whether they’ll deliver on the promise (and I’ll be testing the Gear 360 I picked up at the event today shortly), but on paper these should be decent upgrades on their predecessors.
Check out live 360 video on Twitter | Twitter Blogs (Dec 28, 2016)
360 video has been mostly the province of Facebook when it comes to social networks, but Twitter (and Periscope) is now getting in on the action too. It obviously lends itself well to VR consumption too, though the focus for now is consumption through traditional channels. At a time when the things I feel Twitter most needs to do remain undone, it nonetheless keeps releasing new features, especially ones focused on live and video. I’m not sure how much this will move the needle as far as monetization or user growth, however.