Samsung and Zuckerberg make claim for VR supremacy

The importance of virtual reality (VR) technology at this year’s Mobile World Congress was underlined by a surprise appearance by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg at a Samsung product launch tonight (21 February), during which he predicted VR will be “the most social platform”.

FullSizeRender
A shot from Samsung’s presentation at Mobile World Congress tonight

Although the main purpose of Samsung’s presentation was to unveil its new flagship Galaxy S7 and S7 edge smartphones, VR was in many ways a bigger focus of the event. The company put thousands of its Gear VR headsets onto the seats of the auditorium so that every media and mobile industry delegate in attendance could experience demonstrations of the technology during the announcement.

Gear VR is powered by Oculus, the VR technology acquired by Facebook in 2014. The Samsung headset went on sale in the UK last December for £80, making it one of the first VR devices on the market.

However, Gear VR only works with compatible Samsung phones, which clip into the headset. A series of other VR devices are due to launch in the coming months, including a dedicated Oculus Rift device.

“Gear VR is by far the best mobile VR experience,” claimed Zuckerberg, adding that its low price had contributed to strong early uptake. “People have already watched more than one million hours of video on Gear VR.”

Samsung also unveiled Gear 360, a new camera device that allows people to create 360-degree videos for watching or streaming on their VR headsets. Zuckerberg said he was excited by the potential of 360-degree videos, claiming it would create highly immersive, social content.

“It’s still really early for 360 videos,” said Zuckerberg. “But one day soon all of us are going to have the power to broadcast live what we’re doing, whenever we want, so that our friends and families can experience it as if they are right there with us.”

Latest from Marketing Week

PLEASE SIGN IN OR REGISTER. IT'S FREE, QUICK AND EASY!

Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and inspiration that will help you develop as a marketer and leader.

Register and receive the best content from the only title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work, so we can make Marketing Week more relevant to you.

Register now

THE BEST CONTENT

Our award winning editorial team and columnists will ask the biggest questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.

THE BIGGEST ISSUES

From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we will be your guide.

PERSONAL AND PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT

Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Dedicated to developing your skills and helping you achieve marketing excellence. Find guidance on leadership, professional development and the latest industry jobs.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3711 or email subscriptions@marketingweek.com

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here