Over the past few months, Samsung has shown off an amazing 360-degree camera that can capture both photos and videos called the Gear 360. Up to this point, the device was not available in the U.S. but now it is finally in stock and available for purchase at MobileFun. The Gear 360 captures 360-degree photos with ease, all in a single shot. Other options like Google's Photosphere require users to rotate the camera and then stitch the shots together after the fact, sometimes with quite a few flaws. Samsung's device simplifies the process using Bluetooth and WiFi Direct to turn your phone's display into a remote viewfinder.
The photos are compatible with Google Street View as well, so you can view 360-degree photos you have taken highlighted on a map. And the device is great for both indoor and outdoor use; it is very durable and carries an IP53 dust and water-resistant certification. The ability to create 360-degree videos ties in well with Samsung's current focus on virtual reality. Videos created with the device can be watched on YouTube in a standard browser, allowing users to pan the camera as they watch them, or for a more immersive experience, can be watched in a virtual reality headset. Using the headset, viewers can turn on head tracking and actually look around within the video to create an experience that is almost like being there in person. Recently, Samsung released a few beautiful 360-degree videos to demonstrate the capabilities of the device, and they are even more impressive than you may expect. The images are captured with two separate 180-degree wide-angle lenses and then combined to create a 360-degree view.
As you may expect, the Gear 360 is only compatible with Samsung devices. While the device is currently listed as "In Stock – Shipping now" on MobileFun's website, the official release date is August 19th. The retail price of the Gear 360 will be $349, but MobileFun's price is $385.99. However, since this appears to be the only place selling it right now, it may be worth the extra cash for those who don't want to wait another few weeks to get their hands on it.