Samsung Gear VR to Show 360-degree Films at Sundance Film Festival

Virtual reality is a weird subject these days.  Since Oculus Rift released its first round of virtual reality headsets, which began the race for the virtual world within the real world.  Samsung's own Gear VR, the South Korean smartphone giant's virtual reality headset, has garnered much attention since its leaking and announcement.  And now, real-world applications and uses have come to follow the trend of the growing virtual world.

The Sundance Film Festival, one of the many great names in the film-showing industry.  The festival is a place to get the latest films their facetime with the media and their praise.  But, this year, Samsung will apparently be using the Gear VR to showcase some special exhibits as well.  Samsung has used a special kind of 360-degree recording to let patrons experience some special film viewings.

The Gear VR will be showing off the world premiere of a film called Herders, which focuses on the nomadic Mongolian herders.  The one that will be shown follows a family of yak herders and be seven minutes long.  Another is a snippet of the recently-released film Wild, which tracks a woman who treks across the Pacific Crest Trail to find herself.  The snippet will show the star, Reese Witherspoon as Cheryl Strayed, and the character's mother Bobbi in a visit from the afterlife.  This one will put you back three minutes.  The final one on show during the festival, will be Strangers with Patrick Wilson, a moment with the famous musician in the studio in Montreal in winter, which will put you back five minutes.

this all should be interesting to people who love the idea of virtual reality and film converging will have a field day at the event(s) shown.  The idea that virtual reality, specifically Samsung's, will be limited by which phone the user has and which manufacturer's hardware they can use.  This is, however, promising for virtual reality as a whole, especially given that it allows the historically-existent fourth wall to be discounted completely, placing the viewer in the middle of a scene, or off to the side, so you can be a third person to a couple's discussion.  Which virtual reality platform or manufacturer should expand into the realm of film fully first?  Similarly, would you consider adding virtual reality to your charging arsenal if you could buy 360-degree immersive films from venues like Google Play and Amazon?  Let us know down below.

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Phil Bourget

Staff Writer
Using Android since 2012 and the Galaxy S III, I'm now running a Nexus 5 paired to a Moto 360 to keep updated on the Internet of stuff. Usually found on Google+ or in class.
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