Samsung's Project Beyond 3D camera takes virtual reality to the next level

The camera delivers 3D livestreams to Samsung's virtual reality headset

Samsung's Project Beyond

Samsung's Project Beyond

Samsung has given a sneak peek at a new 3D camera that can capture 360-degree panoramic video and stream it live to its virtual reality headset.

Dubbed Project Beyond, it was the "one last thing" Samsung pulled out of its hat at the start of its developer conference in San Francisco Wednesday, though the live demo could have gone more smoothly.

The camera is a black disc about 6 inches across with cameras around its edges. Mounted on a tripod, its stereoscopic cameras capture the surroundings in 3D and beam the images wirelessly to Samsung's Gear VR virtual reality headset.

The combination basically allows you to "experience" any location in the world from your living room, as long as there's a wireless broadband connection there and someone willing to set up the Project Beyond camera for you.

Samsung showed it set up on a beach capturing a sunset, for instance, but it could as easily be placed in a busy Turkish market or a museum in Paris. By turning their head left to right and up and down, the person wearing the VR headset gets the impression they are at the location.

Pranav Mistry, Samsung's vice president of research, said it opens the door to "a new type of exploration." He didn't say when it might go on sale or how much it would cost, but he called it a "real product."

It captures a gigabit of data every second, he said, and the images it captures include the sky. The video can be streamed to several VR headsets at once, and also saved for viewing later.

The livestream requires a lot of bandwidth, which could explain why the demonstration didn't go so well. The image of the beach displayed on a big screen appeared quite pixelated and jumpy, and eventually it cut out.

Mistry said the problem was with the wireless connection carrying the image from the headset to the giant display, though it was hard to be sure. Connectivity problems often dog live demonstrations in large auditoriums.

Mistry also introduced Samsung Flow, a technology that lets users shift activities between different size Samsung devices. You can look up directions in a mapping app on a tablet, for instance, then "flow" that information to a smartwatch when you want to hit the road.

It can also transfer phone and video calls between devices, and looks similar to Apple's Continuity introduced with iOS 8.

James Niccolai covers data centers and general technology news for IDG News Service. Follow James on Twitter at @jniccolai. James's e-mail address is james_niccolai@idg.com

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags consumer electronicsSamsung Electronics

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

James Niccolai

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Crucial Ballistix Elite 32GB Kit (4 x 8GB) DDR4-3000 UDIMM

Learn more >

Gadgets & Things

Lexar® Professional 1000x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards

Learn more >

Family Friendly

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Plox Star Wars Death Star Levitating Bluetooth Speaker

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

GGG Evaluation Team

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Steph Mundell

LIFEBOOK UH574

The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.

Andrew Mitsi

STYLISTIC Q702

The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.

Simon Harriott

STYLISTIC Q702

My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?