ASEAN KEY DESTINATIONS
Samsung seeks RI developers for local VR content
South Korean electronics giant Samsung seeks to strengthen its footing on virtual reality (VR) technology in Indonesia by collaborating with local mobile application developers to create content for the globally growing VR service.
Following the Indonesian launch of the technology — which simulates physical presence in the real or imaginative world — Samsung said on Tuesday that it would start searching for local developers later this year to create local content for the domestic market.
Indonesian developers working with Samsung will mostly be responsible for creating content, and not the ecosystem, which will be done by the technology giant, said Samsung Electronics Indonesia product marketing manager Seto Anggoro.
“We will work with the Indonesian Samsung Research and Development Institute [SRIN] to cast an open net for all local developers who wish to work with us to develop local content for Indonesia’s VR system,” Seto said.
“However, the fate of VR development in Indonesia would later depend on the pace of the developers,” he added.
Samsung’s VR service essentially works as a built-in app within Samsung’s Galaxy smartphone and Galaxy Note range, and its software is supported by virtual reality company Oculus VR. There are now about 1,500 apps available in the Oculus Share content store.
The VR business is growing globally, with market analysts CCS Insight estimating 13 million VR headsets will have been sold by the end of this year, a figure that is projected to rise to 97 million by 2020.
VR also took center stage at the high-profile Mobile World Congress, which ended on Feb. 25, with Taiwanese HTC launching its HTC Vive VR headset to join the likes of Facebook’s Oculus Rift, Samsung, Sony and Microsoft’s Hololens in becoming the market leader in the growing VR sector, Reuters reported.
In Indonesia, Samsung launched its Samsung Gear VR for sale in February at Samsung Experience stores throughout the country. The existing VR gear on sale in Indonesia is a third generation device, because it is not compatible with first and second generation VR gear.
Samsung Electronics Indonesia IT and mobile marketing director Vebby Kaunang said the company would gradually roll out all of its technological innovations to the Indonesian market this year once it felt the time was right.
Other technologies the company plans to launch include the Gear 360 camera and more features regarding the internet of things (IoT).
Its mobile payment service, Samsung Pay, will also see an eventual Indonesian launch but still has a long way to go as it still needs to establish partnerships with banks and the government.
President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo played ping pong in virtual reality in February with Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg during a short visit to Silicon Valley as he highlighted the nation’s openness to new technology, including investment in the sector.
“The innovations that we will roll out will always be the ones that are relevant to our consumer’s needs. More will come throughout this year,” Vebby said.
The company released its newest smartphone, the Galaxy S7, in Indonesia on Tuesday.
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