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Project Beyond: 7 questions about this new VR camera

Samsung Project Beyond

The global technology company, Samsung, has introduced its next project in the area of virtual reality. This time it is Project Beyond, a 360 degree camera device capable of capturing environments in stereoscopic omniview 3D.  Project Beyond can then send the immersive footage directly into the Samsung Gear VR virtual reality headset. This early anticipated camera is still in development mode.

Samsung Project Beyond
Samsung Project Beyond

1. How does Project Beyond work?

This new device was introduced by the company at its 2014 developers conference. It was revealed that Project Beyond has the ability to take three-dimensional pictures of 1 gigapixel per second. Once captured by its 17 Full HD sensors, a sophisticated software program knits all of the footage together into a cohesive experience.  Project Beyond can then store the high-definition data for future watching.. But according to a review in The Verve, Project Beyond may need some improvement:

The quality of the video itself wasn’t quite as impressive as I was hoping for, either — it’s noisier and grainier than I expected, given the relatively high resolution output of the Gear VR headset. (That said, I haven’t used the Gear VR in any other setting yet, so these issues might not be unique to the Project Beyond footage). Also, the lack of audio definitely kept me from forgetting where I was — hearing the crowded trade show hall around me just didn’t match up with the video.

Samsung is expected to give more details on Project Beyond over the coming months. However, it is clear that the Project Beyond 360 camera will be a key tool to generate content for Gear VR, which is due by Spring 2016.

2. Can Project Beyond live stream?

Yes, Project Beyond will be able to stream real time events to the Samsung’s virtual reality goggles, Gear VR. This way, the user wearing the headset can physically explore the virtual scene captured by the camera in 360 degrees.  Imagine…with a live stream 360 camera, you can find yourself teleported to Times Square on New Year’s Eve, the Running of the Bulls in Spain or land in the heart of a major world event as part of an immersive journalism experience.

3. What does Project Beyond look like?

Samsung Project Beyond has an octagonal structure with rounded edges and it integrates a total of 17 full HD cameras (eight pairs on the sides and one in the top of the device) that can capture video of up to a gigapixel per second. Project Beyond even has its own cooling system, a battery unit, a processor and the ability to store videos inside the device.

4. How much does Project Beyond cost? When can I get one?

Since this product is still in development, Samsung has not yet announced the availability of the consumer version of Project Beyond nor the price at which it will be made available to the consumer market.  However, an “Innovator Edition” of the Project Beyond will be available in early December, which means you’ll still be able to get it. We’ll have to wait a few months to see how affordable is the device.

5. Will it work with other virtual reality headsets?

There is no word as to whether it will work the Oculus Rift, Microsoft Hololens or Sony Project Morpheus.

6. Will it compete with GoPro?

Samsung Project Beyond may face some competition from GoPro, which recently unveiled a prototype of a device designed to shoot 360 degree video (we’re calling it “GoPro VR”).  And there are other 360 camera and 360 camera devices on the market available to consumers like the Giroptic and Google Jump

Project Beyond on coast
Project Beyond on coast

7. (this question is for you) What would you like to experience with Samsung Beyond video:

  • Times Square on New Year’s Eve
  • Running of the Bulls in Spain
  • At the heart of a major world event
  • Other?

Let us know in the Comments section below


Images courtesy of the Think Tank Team, a very smart team at Samsung Research Americas.

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