Samsung has concluded their Unwrapped event to open their MWC 2016 activities this week. Of course the headline of the event was the release of the Samsung Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 Edge. However, viewers may have noted that a large bulk of of the event was spent on virtual reality, including the announcement of the new Gear 360 for capturing VR content. Samsung closed things out by bringing none other than Facebook’s own Mark Zuckerberg onstage to talk about how the social media giant is working with Samsung and expanding their own support for virtual reality.
Samsung and Facebook have already been working together for a while now thanks to Facebook’s ownership of Oculus, whose software was adopted by Samsung for use in the Gear VR. Already, as Zuckerberg noted, more than one million hours of video have been watched by consumers using a Gear VR since it was launched in November 2015.
Facebook is preparing to expand support for VR and help make it even more widespread with some initiatives. The first big announcement from Zuckerberg and Facebook is that the company is developing a new method to more efficiently deliver 360 video. Instead of requiring the download of an entire 360 video before viewing, Facebook will just deliver the pixels that a user is viewing. This is achieved by creating “dozens of variants for every 360 video that get uploaded to Facebook.” Facebook will then adjust what is being delivered depending on what is being viewed. According to Facebook, this means the resolution of 360 video will be quadrupled allowing for a better quality picture and faster streaming.
Facebook also announced today that they have created a new Social VR team within Facebook. The focus of this new team will be “exploring the future of social interaction in VR.”
Look for more coverage of MWC 2016 from TalkAndroid by watching for our updates on the site.