VRARA Member Spotlight: Samsung Brings VR to the Masses

When it comes to VR, Samsung has become the industry's household name. Already a formidable presence, the South Korean electronics giant has reinvented itself as a VR pioneer.  First out of the gate with the GearVR, it has defined mobile VR and will keep innovating into VR's next phase.

As the VR/AR Association has examined, VR market growth is challenged by a classic "chicken-and-egg" dilemma. There aren't enough headsets to compel content creators to invest in long-form content; that lack of content in turn diminishes consumer headset investments. 

That scenario mostly applies to high-end HMDs like the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift, which are cost prohibitive to the mainstream -- not to mention the graphics-capable PCs necessary to run them. This is where Samsung has filled a gap with the highly functional yet accessible GearVR. 

Expanding from the consumer end, Samsung has brought this accessibility + functionality approach to the creator end with the Gear360. The highly anticipated device seeds the content side of the equation with 360 live action capture. 

Together the Gear360 and GearVR rise all boats and accelerate the industry's mainstream penetration.  This is a mission that the VR/AR Association identifies with: Getting more devices into more hands (read: acclimation and education) is the name of the game at this early stage. 

We're honored to welcome Samsung as the latest member of the association's San Francisco chapter (and host of its first event). In "matchmaking" mode -- one of VRARA's specialties -- let us know if you want to partner or talk to Samsung. We'll connect you to the right people. 

Mike Boland

Michael Boland is Chief Analyst and VP of Content for BIA/Kelsey, covering online and mobile media. Mike is a frequent speaker at top industry conferences such as BIA/Kelsey events, Search Engine Strategies, ad:tech, and WHERE 2.0. He has authored in-depth reports on the changing local media landscape including online video, social networking and mobile. He contributes regularly to highly read online news sources such as Business Insider and the Huffington Post. A trusted source for reporters covering the interactive media space, his comments have appeared in major news and trade media, including the Wall Street Journal, Fortune and Forbes. Previously he was a San Francisco-based freelance writer for business and technology magazines, such as Red Herring, Business 2.0, and Mobile Magazine. Mike began his career in business analysis and journalism as a staff reporter for Forbes magazine, where he covered tech & media.