Samsung Gear 360 sequel exists – but when will we see it?

It’s official: Samsung has developed a new model of the Gear 360 camera, and it’s probably going to launch soon.

A device explicitly named as the ‘Samsung Gear 360’ has received certification from the FCC, America’s telecoms device regulator. That means it meets certain wireless standards that allow it to be sold in the USA. The original application was submitted by Samsung, so we know for certain that this is an official device.

Samsung Gear 360 is the name given to a 360-degree camera that was launched in February last year. The device used two cameras to capture VR-friendly images and video, and featured support for Bluetooth, USB, NFC, and Wi-Fi connections.

So how do we know that the FCC-listed model is new? Well, the first-generation Samsung Gear 360 shipped under the model number ‘SM-C200’. But this new Gear 360 device is stamped with the model number ‘SM-R210’, which doesn’t correspond to any currently available Samsung device. Also, we know it’s a new device by virtue of the fact that it’s passing through the FCC.

gear 360Screengrab from the FCC filing, in which many sensitive details were redacted at Samsung’s request

Unfortunately, Samsung submitted a confidentiality request to the FCC, meaning that much of the information that would have been otherwise contained in the report has been redacted. While searching the filing for information, TrustedReviews uncovered a letter written by Youn Chan Ho, GM at Samsung Electronics North America, justifying the request. Chan Ho wrote:

“[Samsung] requests confidentiality and treatment of certain information accompanying this application. The materials contain trade secrets and proprietary information not customarily released to the public. The public disclosure of these matters might be harmful to the applicant and provide unjustified benefits to its competitors.”

Still, when products pass through the FCC, it usually means they’re nearly ready to go on sale. We’d already heard rumours that Samsung would be debuting a new version of the Gear 360 alongside the Samsung Galaxy S8 smartphone at the March 29 product launch event in New York. So this latest information seems to corroborate that rumour.

We’ve asked Samsung for comment and will update this article with any response.

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What did you think of the original Samsung Gear 360? Let us know in the comments.