Attendees of this year’s Lollapalooza festival in Chicago (July 28-31) will have a chance to buy Samsung’s Gear 360 virtual reality camera for a cool $350. This will be only the second time that VR enthusiasts have had an opportunity to purchase the camera in the United States, after the official U.S. launch in June made it available exclusively at VidCon.
Samsung hopes the event will help generate hype for 360-degree video, and wants to show music fans how easy it is to capture their experiences in such a way, according to Venture Beat. “Lollapalooza is an excellent opportunity for us to connect fans to their favorite music using our mobile and VR technology,” Samsung America’s chief marketing officer, Marc Mathieu, said in a statement.
Samsung is hot on the heels of other 360-degree camera manufacturers who have looked to event sponsorships to promote and field test their products. In a notable departure from the crowd, however, Samsung is choosing to focus on the creative side, encouraging attendees to actually buy and use the Gear 360 themselves. Other companies have partnered with sporting events to play the role of broadcaster, creating content themselves with consumers limited to the role of viewer.
The Samsung Gear 360 uses dual fisheye lenses and 15-megapixel sensors. Each lens and sensor is responsible for about 195 degrees of angle of view, with the two hemispherical fields being stitched together on a user’s smartphone (the device is compatible with a limited number of phones). The camera is small and light, (at about 5.4 ounces), is dust and water resistant, and records video at a resolution of 3,840 x 1,920 pixels. Perhaps most important, however, it’s cute, with the included mini tripod making it look like some sort of tiny, three-legged robot.
Whether or not all of this will make the device sell well at Lollapalooza remains to be seen, but a crowded music festival does seem like a ripe forum for 360-degree video.