Developers attending Facebook's F8 conference today are in for a treat, as Samsung has announced that all 2,600 developers in attendance will receive a Gear VR kit along with a customized Galaxy phone. While Samsung doesn't state exactly which Galaxy handsets were included in the kit, the company notes that it leveraged the KNOX platform to automatically set up the phones in all 2,600 kits with the following customizations:

  • Developers to have all the tools they need at their fingertips with no additional set-up.
  • The devices to instantly connect to the network with pre-loaded Wi-Fi credentials.
  • Facebook's logo to automatically appear once the device is turned on.
  • All Facebook apps to be pre-installed and pre-arranged.

Each handset comes alongside a Gear VR headset, which Facebook and Samsung hope will spur developers to get a jump start on creating new experiences for VR.

Press Release

Samsung Empowers the Future of Virtual Reality at Facebook's F8 Conference

Facebook to giveaway 2,600 Gear VR headsets with customized Samsung Galaxy smartphones during its F8 Developer Conference

NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Samsung Electronics America, Inc. (SEA) announced today that it has deployed 2,600 Samsung Gear VR headsets powered by Oculus with customized Samsung Galaxy smartphones at the Facebook F8 Developer Conference, empowering developers to create the engaging and immersive virtual reality content that will broaden the future and mainstream acceptance of the medium. Facebook founder and chief executive officer Mark Zuckerberg made the announcement during this morning's keynote address.

Today's announcement marks a key next step in making virtual reality more affordable, accessible and relevant to consumers and enterprises of all sizes. To date, consumers have viewed over 2M hours of content on Samsung Gear VR, the leading mobile VR platform. In January, Samsung Milk VR, the premium virtual reality content service, turned one year old and now houses over 700 hundred 360-degree videos from top brands and entertainment companies.

In February, Samsung launched Gear 360, the first consumer-level virtual reality camera, empowering consumers to create their own VR content. And at this year's Mobile World Congress, Facebook announced that its 360-degree videos would be optimized for viewing on the Samsung Gear VR headset, and that the company would be investing further in VR along with Samsung.

"At Samsung, our world-class research and development teams are focused on building transformative virtual reality solutions, so the world's most creative storytellers can deliver the unique and exhilarating content experiences of the future," said Ken Smith, vice president and general manager for Samsung Business Services, a division of SEA.

In addition to its leadership in VR technology, Facebook turned to Samsung for its enterprise solutions and services that are designed to solve business needs. With its proprietary KNOX customization platform, Samsung configured 2,600 unlocked Galaxy smartphones "out of the box" using a cloud-based configurator tool to seamlessly deploy the devices with the unique look, feel and feature-set that Facebook required for its F8 Developer Conference.

"We are thrilled to provide our Gear VR headsets and KNOX custom configured Galaxy smartphones to Facebook's talented network of developers at this year's F8 Developer Conference – a platform with influential global reach," added Smith. "At Samsung, we believe that technology is not valuable in isolation. It's valuable when it solves problems. Tailoring customized solutions to meet Facebook's business requirements is an excellent example of how technology can be applied to drive simplicity."

The customized Gear VR kits for Facebook allow for:

  • Developers to have all the tools they need at their fingertips with no additional set-up.

  • The devices to instantly connect to the network with pre-loaded Wi-Fi credentials.

  • Facebook's logo to automatically appear once the device is turned on.

  • All Facebook apps to be pre-installed and pre-arranged.

Working with visionary companies like Facebook, Samsung is developing the infrastructure needed to power the next-generation of virtual reality content. In the past six months, the company launched its Gear VR headset, compatible with Galaxy S7, Galaxy S7 edge, Galaxy S6, Galaxy S6 edge, Galaxy Note 5 and Galaxy S6 edge+ devices.

For information on any of Samsung's consumer devices or Gear VR, click here. For more information on Samsung's unique enterprise offerings, click here, or simply complete this form and a member of the Samsung Business team will contact you.

About F8 Facebook Developer Conference

F8 is Facebook's annual global developer conference, held this year at Fort Mason in San Francisco on April 12-13. The two-day event will host more than 2,600 developers from around the world who are building and growing businesses using Facebook tools. F8 will feature deep, technical sessions, exciting new technology announcements and the opportunity to interact with Facebook product experts.

About Samsung Electronics America, Inc.

Headquartered in Ridgefield Park, NJ, Samsung Electronics America, Inc. (SEA), is a recognized innovation leader in consumer electronics design and technology. A wholly owned subsidiary of Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd., SEA delivers a broad range of digital consumer electronics, IT and home appliance products. Samsung is the market leader for HDTVs in the U.S. and one of America's fastest growing home appliance brands. To discover more of the award-winning products you love with Samsung, please visitwww.samsung.com and for the latest Samsung news, please visit news.samsung.com/us and follow on Twitter @SamsungNewsUS. For the latest business news and insights from Samsung, visit insights.samsung.com and follow Samsung Business USA on Twitter @SamsungBizUSA.