New de­vice lets you shoot VR pho­tos and videos

China Daily (USA) - - WUZHEN - By ZHOUMOin Shen­zhen zhoumo@chi­

Com­pe­ti­tion among smart­phone mak­ers has in­ten­si­fied as Shen­zhen-based Protruly Vi­sion launched the world’s first smart­phone that can shoot vir­tual re­al­ity (VR) pho­tos and videos, which an­a­lysts call a “tech­no­log­i­cal mile­stone”.

Dar­lingVRS­mart­phone, as the new­prod­uct is called, fea­tures an AMOLED 5.5-inch dis­play and four cam­eras, of which two are for 360 de­gree panorama photo and video shoot­ing and the other two for plane film­ing, al­low­ing users to move be­tween the two modes freely. The cre­ated VR pho­tos and videos can be pre­viewed, edited and shared in­stantly.

The de­vice is also able to mon­i­tor hu­man health by mea­sur­ing peo­ple’s body tem­per­a­ture re­motely when it is within 1 cen­time­ter from its users.

Launched on Oct 24, the smart­phone will be on sale this month in two ver­sions — 3,980 yuan ($580) and 8,800 yuan for the deluxe op­tion. The lat­ter will sport gold and di­a­monds.

“At the mo­ment, the smart­phone in­dus­try is still in the plane visual age. Al­though the im­age qual­ity of smart­phones has been im­prov­ing, there is barely any in­no­va­tion in the mode of pho­tog­ra­phy,” said Tang Dechuan, chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer of Shen­zhen Dar­ling In­tel­li­gent Tech­nol­ogy Co Ltd, a sub­sidiary of Protruly. Protruly spe­cial­izes in elec­tronic vi­sion.

“The un­veil­ing of the VR smart­phone sig­nals that we have evolved from the age of plane film­ing to the new stereo­scopic pho­tog­ra­phy age,” Tang said.

The launch comes at a time when do­mes­tic and in­ter­na­tional smart­phone pro­duc­ers are com­pet­ing fiercely to grab a big­ger slice of the Chi­nese smart­phone mar­ket.

The ship­ment of smart­phones in China reached 115.1 mil­lion units over the third quar­ter of 2016, grow­ing 5.8 per­cent com­pared with a year ear­lier, ac­cord­ing to IDC.

In Au­gust, Sam­sung launched its new VR de­vice Gear VR, paired with its Galaxy Note 7. But the smart­phone has been re­called in China af­ter a num­ber of bat­tery ex­plo­sions.

An­a­lysts say the ad­vent of the VR smart­phone means a tech­no­log­i­cal break­through for the in­dus­try, but they are con­ser­va­tive over its prospects in the mar­ket.

“It is a tech­no­log­i­cal mile­stone to in­te­grate VR with smart­phones, but the new de­vice may not have a big mar­ket,” said James Yan, the re­search di­rec­tor at Coun­ter­point Tech­nol­ogy Mar­ket Re­search.

“Most peo­ple will not buy a smart­phone pro­duced by a com­pany they don’t know, even if it has in­no­va­tive func­tions. The prod­uct may achieve bet­ter sales among in­dus­try users.”

Ja­son Low, a Shang­haibased in­dus­try an­a­lyst with mar­ket re­search firm Canalys, agrees. “Some VR en­thu­si­asts may find the prod­uct ap­peal­ing, but for the mass mar­ket, it is dif­fi­cult to jus­tify it with the high price,” Low said.

“En­thu­si­asts will also look at the qual­ity of the 360 de­gree panorama video, as well as the bat­tery life when they record and up­load videos. It will be po­ten­tially help­ful to peo­ple who do a lot of 360 de­gree panorama video cre­ation, for ex­am­ple, real es­tate and house rental agents.”


A man tests the “Zeiss VR One” vir­tual re­al­ity glasses dur­ing the Mo­bile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain.

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