Update: Down on the show floor, Samsung is letting attendees put on a Gear VR headset and see some pre-recorded footage gathered from Project Beyond — and it's definitely a wildly immersive experience, if not quite as impressive as you'd hope for. You truly can experience the setting in full 360 degrees — I rotated all the way around, looked up and down, and never lost track of the virtual world I was inhabiting.
Even though we were watching pre-recorded footage, it truly felt like you were seeing a live feed of everything happening around you — but there were a few times the illusion broke down. Naturally, your instinct is to step forward and explore the world, but Project Beyond is a stationary camera. You can see what the camera sees from the place it was set down, and no more.
The quality of the video itself wasn't quite as impressive as I was hoping for, either — it's noisier and grainer than I expected, given the relatively high resolution output of the Gear VR headset. (That said, I haven't used the Gear VR in any other setting yet, so these issues might not be unique to the Project Beyond footage). Also, the lack of audio definitely kept me from forgetting where I was — hearing the crowded trade show hall around me just didn't match up with the video.
Regardless, there's little question that Samsung will be able to create some compelling virtual environments with Project Beyond — and while there's no word on when the camera might make its way into the hands of the average consumer (if it ever does), it could be a big step forward to solving the problem of where VR content will come from.