Samsung's Gear 360 is now available in the US—sort of.
The $349.99 spherical video camera goes on sale Thursday, exclusively at VidCon, the annual online video conference in Anaheim, Calif., conceived by "VlogBrothers" Hank and John Green. For those not attending the three-day event, Samsung promised details about additional availability "later in the year."
Introduced in February, the Gear 360 features dual lenses, each capturing a 195-degree field of view (for a total 390 degrees); the camera stitches images together, resulting in 30-megapixel stills. It also records 3,840-by-1,920-resolution video—the same width as 4K footage.
Samsung's new camera, which supports Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, will initially work with the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge.
The $350 asking price comes in below other consumer VR cameras currently on the market, like the LucidCam VR (pre-order for $399 plus shipping) and the Vuze from HumanEyes Technologies ($799), and is significantly lower than similar solutions marketed to professionals.
Folks in Korea and Singapore have been recording 360-degree videos on the Gear 360 since late April.
At VidCon, meanwhile, Samsung will preview its Samsung Creators virtual reality initiative, which will provide VR seminars and classes for aspiring VR movie makers.
"We want to bring the power of VR technology directly to the people," Chief Marketing Officer Marc Mathieu said in a statement. "To help creators learn and perfect the art of VR storytelling, we've built an entire VR ecosystem that pushes beyond the frame and empowers them to develop unforgettable, immersive stories, and inspires us all to do the same."
In July, Samsung Creators will launch a competition for wannabe independent directors to develop VR/360 content using Samsung products. Ten winners will be chosen, one from each of the following categories: music, auto, science and tech, gaming, travel, fashion, culinary, cause-related, 4D, and sports.
Meanwhile, Samsung VR—formerly known as Samsung Milk VR—now supports user-generated content.