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Samsung's Latest Camera Promises High-Quality Virtual Reality At a 'Reasonable' Price

Samsung's 360 Round 4K-capable virtual reality camera. Samsung

If you’re looking to create 4K virtual reality content and you have $10,500 to burn, Samsung might have the product for you.

The Korean firm has unveiled a camera with 17 lenses, called the 360 Round. Looking not dissimilar to a Roomba, the 360 Round can be used to livestream 3D video and “spatial” audio. It’s even water- and dust-resistant with an IP65 rating, for those who want to livestream in inclement weather.

“The combination of livestreaming capabilities, IP65 water and dust resistance and 17 lenses makes this camera ideal for a broad range of use cases our customers want—from livestreaming major events to filming at training facilities across various industries,” said Samsung business-to-business mobile chief Suk-Jea Hahn.

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Read: Nokia Pulls Out of ‘Slow-Developing’ Virtual Reality Business

It may cost $10,500, but Samsung’s pitch is that the 360 Round has a “reasonable price compared to other professional 360 cameras.” Current rivals include the similar $15,000 GoPro Odyssey, but also the $1,500 GoPro Omni, which has fewer lenses but will do the job for many enthusiasts.

Another point of comparison would be the Nokia Ozo, which was aimed firmly at the film production crowd with its $45,000 pricetag. However, it’s notable that Nokia scrapped the Ozo earlier this month, citing “the slower-than-expected development of the VR market.”

Read: Why Investing in Obstacles to Augmented Reality Today Could Result in Billions

It remains to be seen whether Samsung’s good-for-its-class pricing for the 360 Round pays dividends for the company.

Samsung also dived into a related field earlier this month with the launch of its first Windows-powered “mixed reality” headset. Mixed reality is Microsoft’s term for augmented reality, where virtual images are superimposed over actual reality. Samsung and Google also announced this week that Samsung’s Galaxy phones would in future support Google’s ARCore software platform for creating augmented-reality apps.

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