NBC began outlining its plans for broadcasting Rio 2016 yesterday, but a few more juicy tidbits have now filtered through. The AP (via ABC News) is reporting that around 85 hours of programming will be available to watch in VR, but only if you use Samsung's Gear VR. The brief report claims that the opening and closing ceremonies will get the 360-degree treatment, as will the men's basketball, gymnastics and track and field. Details beyond that brief outline are sketchy, although it's interesting that the footage is provided by a unit of the International Olympic Committee rather than the usual suspects, like NextVR. All of the content will be available on the NBC Sports app, assuming that you've got a Gear VR-compatible smartphone, of course.
Samsung is taking a step up from its Gear VR headsets with the introduction of a mixed reality headset, which will be powered by Microsoft software. The tech giants announced the Samsung HMD Odyssey headset Tuesday as a product that will mix virtual reality and augmented reality into a cohesive experience. Samsung HMD Odyssey will be available Nov. 6 for $499, with preorders already being accepted in the U.S. The headset will be available to markets, including the China, Korea, Brazil and Hong Kong later in 2017. Primary specs for the headset include dual 3.5-inch (1,440x1,600 resolution) AMOLED displays, which create a 110-degree field of view; premium built-in AKG headphones, which create 360 degrees of spatial sound, two Six Degrees of Freedom (6 DOF) camera sensors and two motion controllers. The headset is made to be a plug and play device -- users connect the Samsung HMD Odyssey to a PC and set up with no need to map an outside space.
Just two weeks after rumours surfaced that Apple is working on a wireless AR/VR headset, Samsung has charged into the ring with its own concept. According to The Korea Times, the company is working with Microsoft to develop a "powerful" headset that supports both augmented reality and virtual reality, and unlike Apple's offering, which is slated for 2020, Samsung plans to debut its version at the IFA tradeshow in Berlin this August. Samsung and Microsoft haven't had the smoothest of relationships in the past, but as The Korea Times reports, a Samsung official has clarified matters. "Samsung Electronics is working on developing cordless and high-priced headsets supporting both VR and AR," they said. "Definitely, Samsung plans to use in-house application processors, OLED displays and sensors.
Samsung unveiled its 360-degree camera, aptly called the Gear 360, earlier this year at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. Today, the company announced its ship date. The tiny ball-shaped camera will be available for purchase on April 29th this year. It doesn't have on-board storage, but there is a microSD card slot that can accommodate up to 128GB of storage. The Gear 360 is just the latest in Samsung's VR efforts.
It's official: Samsung is updating its mixed-reality headset, the Odyssey. The new version, the Samsung HMD Odyssey, promises to bring lifelike experiences through the Windows Mixed Reality platform. You can buy the headset in the US starting on October 22nd at Microsoft.com and Samsung.com. It will be available later this year in South Korea, Hong Kong, China and Brazil. The device will retail for $500.