April 12, 2016 – Samsung Electronics America, Inc. announced today that it has deployed 2,600 Samsung Gear VR headsets powered by Oculus with customized Samsung Galaxy smartphones at the Facebook F8 Developer Conference. Facebook founder and chief executive officer Mark Zuckerberg made the announcement during this morning’s keynote address.
The announcement marks a key next step in making virtual reality more affordable, accessible and relevant to consumers and enterprises of all sizes. According to Samsung, consumers have viewed over 2 million hours of content on its Gear VR mobile platform. In January, Samsung Milk VR turned one year old and now houses over 700 hundred 360-degree videos.
In February, Samsung launched Gear 360, a consumer-level virtual reality camera, empowering consumers to create their own VR content. And at this year’s Mobile World Congress, Facebook announced that its 360-degree videos would be optimized for viewing on the Samsung Gear VR headset, and that the company would be investing further in VR along with Samsung.
Facebook also turned to Samsung for its enterprise solutions and services that are designed to solve business needs. With its proprietary KNOX customization platform, Samsung configured 2,600 unlocked Galaxy smartphones ‘out of the box’ using a cloud-based configuration tool to seamlessly deploy the devices with a unique look, feel and feature-set that Facebook required for its F8 Developer Conference.
Ken Smith, Vice President and General Manager for Samsung Business Services, said: “We are thrilled to provide our Gear VR headsets and KNOX custom configured Galaxy smartphones to Facebook’s talented network of developers at this year’s F8 Developer Conference – a platform with influential global reach”. He added, “At Samsung, we believe that technology is not valuable in isolation. It’s valuable when it solves problems. Tailoring customized solutions to meet Facebook’s business requirements is an excellent example of how technology can be applied to drive simplicity.”
Samsung has stated that by working with companies like Facebook, it is aiming to develop the infrastructure needed to power the next-generation of virtual reality content.
The customized Gear VR kits for Facebook allow for:
- Developers to have all the tools they need at their fingertips with no additional set-up.
- The devices to instantly connect to the network with pre-loaded Wi-Fi credentials.
- Facebook’s logo to automatically appear once the device is turned on.
- All Facebook apps to be pre-installed and pre-arranged.
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Image credit: Facebook
About the author
Sam is the Founder and Managing Editor of Auganix. With a background in research and report writing, he has been covering XR industry news for the past five years.