After Gear VR, Samsung Quietly Moves into VR Content
Earlier this month, rumors began spreading that Samsung had acquired VR content startup VRB. Previously part of Samsung Next, Samsung’s startup accelerator program, VRB creates apps that view and capture 360-degree content.
“VRB itself appears to have worked on a mixture of services in the general area of VR. It described itself as a “social VR platform centered around user expression and novel methods of communication”, and it filled that out with both B2C and B2B products — a double-purpose route we’ve seen other startups take, since it helps them both build a platform and provide a proof of concept for that tech.
On the consumer side, VRB had developed two apps, one a “social city” called VRB Home and the other a 360-degree photo-sharing app called VRBFoto. The latter you can see in live VR apps for Oculus and VR Gear.”
This marks the first virtual reality startup that Samsung has acquired and signals their continued commitment to building out their VR capabilities.
Samsung’s Gear VR is one of the top VR headsets by shipments, and they also have developed a consumer-ready 360-camera. The addition of VRB will help Samsung address one of the key issues in the virtual reality industry: quality VR content.
As StartApp’s Director of Virtual Reality explained recently:
“Content and software have to carry more of the weight in terms of proving the VR concept as real. Just as an example, I’m not sure that any of the AAA game studios they have picked up this technology yet. Most of the most amazing titles I have been witnessing in VR come from mid-sized or indie studios. I’m not entirely sure what the reason for this is but I think it’s a part of the problem.”
VR content that is fully backed by Samsung may be the thing that drives the first boom of VR applications and software. It’s also a wise move for company to get a head start against the other tech giants trying their hand at VR: Google & Facebook.
If Samsung can have an “iPhone moment” with their VR content & technology, they’ll dominate this emerging space.