In the last quarter of 2016 we acquired for the project # E2C_VR @EncEnCuenca, all the devices that Samsung created to enjoy and generate contents and experiences in Virtual Reality.
The catalog of products that this korean company made available for these purposes consists of three specific elements: the Gear VR glasses, the Gear 360 camera and the Galaxy S7 mobile phone (it was the flagship team for launching the campaign for the massification of this technology), which complement each other.
Regarding materials of manufacture, we must indicate that we have before us some devices manufactured with the highest quality standards. Any one gives the impression of robustness and durability. And there we can put the first positive point.
In the field of common and semi-professional cameras for shots in 360, the Gear takes the awards as the most complete in terms of image quality: two opposing sensors, 1 / 2.3 “CMOS 15 Mpx, 180º lenses with Aperture f / 2.0, ISO max 1600, video processing max 4K 30fps and processed photos 360º 25,9 Mpx.
Of course, if the intention is to subject this team to extreme activities, where it is susceptible to be hit or constant contact with water, is not even remotely the best option. For this we recommend the Fly 360. Just as if the requirement is for streaming content, it is not an alternative, as it does not allow in any way to generate content of this nature, although platforms like YouTube or Periscope give the possibility. Instead, the Insta 360 is the best option in the market, despite not having the image characteristics that we mentioned in the previous paragraph.
In particular, the videos in 360 weigh heavily therefore the internal memory of the camera is insufficient. It is necessary to expand it with a micro SD card, which in our case is 128 GB compatible with 4K contents.
On the Gear VR glasses we can indicate that it is a very complete accessory, that allows to interact with the contents, to navigate by diverse menus and to control the volume of the contents. They work when the mobile phone is attached to them via the miscro USB port. They only support the model of Samsung phone for which they were designed, so you have to be aware of the equipment of which it consists, to acquire the compatible displays, which makes it one of the main negative points.
The biggest criticism has to do with access to content. These displays have been manufactured by the company Oculus, through an exclusive agreement with the Korean company. For this reason, the platform of contents in virtual reality is developed by the manufacturer and is restrictive according to his criterion.
We mentioned the previous because because of the fight that currently maintains Facebook and Google, for the control of the formats, criteria and platforms of reproduction of virtual contents and in 360; Oculus (that belongs from 2014 to the company of Zuckerberg) prevents the access to Youtube from the Gear VR. The only way to access the broad repertoire offered by Youtube from a Samsung Galaxy, is through its app and a generic glasses like the Cardboard.
As an additional fact, to be able to enjoy through Virtual Reality glasses, of the contents in 360 that are published in Facebook, the only possibility is with the Gear VR, there is no other option at the moment.
Last, and not least, is the mobile phone. With the Gear 360 app, this device allows you to link the camera and see in real time everything you record. In this way, we can anticipate the quality of the image, retouching the lighting and the exposure of light, in order to obtain better results and not work blind. It also allows you to switch between the photo, video or time lapse format, according to the requirements of the moment and the environment. It is also possible to define what the initial shot will be, depending on the point of action of both lenses.
An additional detail about the pairing between both devices is that through the bluetooth connection, we can free up space of the camera by storing the phone directly and vice versa.
To conclude we are faced with a range of high quality and high performance equipment, which as big cons: they prevent streaming in 360 (still) and prevent Youtube from viewing 360 directly on the Gear VR. Hopefully Samsung will rectify with the users that we bet on their proposal.
This image corresponds to the work that we carried out in the Natural Monument “Barrancas de Burujón” in the Province of Toledo (Spain), which can be visualized through https://youtu.be/tisTGwdTQ2A
In our youtube channel http://bit.ly/encuentraencuenca you can see the catalog of contents that we have made with the teams we mention here. It is the result of our experimentation and evolution in this area. Likewise, in EncEnCuenca on Facebook, they may have access to complementary content.
Finally, if you want to be in contact with us, we can on twitter through @EncEnCuenca