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Samsung Simband, Flow, Gear VR and Project Beyond: What you need to know about today's Samsung announcements

A wearable, VR headset and camera, oh my -- here's what you missed at today's Samsung developers conference in San Francisco.

Lynn La Senior Editor / Reviews - Phones
Lynn La covers mobile reviews and news. She previously wrote for The Sacramento Bee, Macworld and The Global Post.
Lynn La
2 min read

Samsung redesigned its Simband, which debuted in May, and released its API and SDKs today. James Martin/CNET

Samsung is using its annual developers conference, which kicked off Tuesday at the Moscone Center in San Francisco, to show off interesting new projects. Today, the company revealed a number of new initiatives, as well as advancements on previously unveiled products.

Updates on two projects, the Simband wearable and the Gear VR Innovator Edition were announced, and an entirely new device debuted: the Project Beyond camera.

It wasn't all hardware news, however. Samsung's Flow software platform is accessible to developers today, and allows users to easily move between devices.

Simband wearable gets a redesign in second iteration

The Simband health tracker is loaded with numerous sensors that measure your biometric data, including blood flow, EKG levels and skin temperature. All this information is gathered and stored on SAMI, the company's open and cloud-based database. Although it debuted in May, Samsung unveiled Simband's second generation today.

In addition to giving it a new look, the company has improved its sensor capabilities and algorithm accuracy. Still in its beta form, the Simband is not intended as a consumer product but rather a reference platform, and its API and SDKs were also released today for developers.

Up close with the health-focused Samsung Simband (pictures)

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Seamlessly move between devices with Flow

As an answer to Apple's Handoff, Samsung demoed Flow -- a continuity platform that lets users continue or move tasks from one device to another. You can shoot open tasks, such as getting directions on Google Maps, from your phone to your tablet and vice versa. It also lets you defer tasks from one machine to continue later, such as reading an article on your tablet then finishing it up on your laptop at home.

Flow also allows notifications about one device to pop up on another. For instance, you can see your phone's missed calls and low-battery warning on the screen of your Samsung TV.

Trying out the Galaxy Note 4-equipped Samsung Gear VR Innovator Edition. Sarah Tew/CNET

Gear VR Innovator Edition hits US in December for $199

Samsung's virtual reality headset, the Gear VR Innovator Edition, will launch in the US in December in two versions: $199, and with a Bluetooth controller for $249. UK and Australian prices and availability were not announced, but the US prices convert to £125 or AU$230, and £160 or AU$285.

The headset merges the Galaxy Note 4 handset with Oculus technology, and offers an immersive experience complete with gyro- and accelerometer-based motion controls, proximity sensors and touchpad controls.

Shoot 360-degree-3D video with Project Beyond

Working in conjunction with the Gear VR headset is Project Beyond, a circular camera that captures 360-degree video in 3D. The camera is similar to the unsuccessful Kickstarter project, Centr camera, and is equipped with 16 full-HD cameras, a cooling system and wide-angle optics.

Pranav Mistry, vice president of research for Samsung Research America, said that the company will put these puck-shaped cameras around the globe and allow users with the Gear VR to virtually "visit" these places.