While you were away

MWC 2016: Samsung Gear 360 and LG G5 Friends

February 27th, 2016 | by Z. Gonzales

A new theme that we saw with this year’s flagship phones from Korean manufacturers is that these brands are now putting the production of virtual reality content into the hands of manufacturers.

For Samsung, this will be done through the use of an accessory called the Gear 360 VR camera. The device will of course go hand-in-hand with other Samsung products including the Galaxy S7 and the company’s Gear VR headset.

Gear 360 2Gear 360 2

The device is about the size of a golf ball and packs two 15MP cameras at the back and front of the device that allows it to capture 360-degree videos. There’s a 0.5-inch PMOLED panel at the top of the device that displays various information to the user including its battery and current shooting mode.

The Gear 360 VR camera is able to record close to 4K quality 360-degree videos – around 3840 x 1920 clips to be exact. If you plan to shoot only 180-degree videos, the device will be able to churn out a 2560 x 1440 (@30fps) videos for you. The camera is also capable of shooting 30M still photos on dual-cam setup and 5MP shots using just one camera.

Gear 360

The camera is IP58 certified, which means it has some level of water and dustproofing (though it’s not in the same league as the GoPro). On top of that, it also comes with an accelerometer, 1GB of RAM and a microSD card slot that go support up to 128GB.

The Samsung Gear will be compatible with several of Samsung’s current phone models including the Galaxy S6, S6 Edge, S6 Edge+, Note 5, Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 Edge. It can also work on PCs via an ActionDirector Software.

LG, on the other hand, is putting its bets on what it calls “Friends” for the G5. This so-called friends is composed of several devices including the 360 Cam, the Rolling Bot and the LG 360 VR.

The 360 Cam, much like that of Samsung has two 13MP camera sensors at the front and that the back with 200-degree lens that allow the device to capture 360-degree content. The camera has a 1200mAh battery and support 2K video recording and comes with Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.

360 Cam

The content produced in this camera can then be viewed through the LG 360 VR. Now, in contrast to Samsung’s Gear VR, which uses lenses and a Samsung phone’s display to project images to the user’s eyes, the LG 360 VR uses two 1.88-inch panels with a resolution of 960 x 720 pixels to project images into the user’s eyes.

The use of smaller displays instead of a phone’s means that the 360 VR is able to have a smaller foot print than Samsung’s Gear VR or other VR headsets currently in the market. However, this also means that the head-mounted display needs to be connected to a source for it to work.

LG VR

Finally, there’s the LG Rolling Bot. Although it can certainly pass as a toy, the Rolling Bot is actually designed as a remote communication device for pets or as a home monitoring solution.

The Rolling Bot is packing an 8MP camera at the front which capable of streaming videos to the internet. The cam is also able to take control of other appliances in the home through its IR emitter. Moreover, the rolling bot is equipped with a microphone and a speaker which should allow users to interact with the bot’s surroundings.

LG rolling bot

Having said this, LG is planning to use the Rolling Bot as a form of pet-nanny to help users interact and communicate with their pets even while they are away for work or vacation.

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