Samsung Gear expands virtual-reality arsenal

A new Samsung Electronics Co. Gear 360, left, a video camera, sends 360 degree footage to the Samsung Galaxy S7 edge with 3D thermo forming in this arranged photo in London, U.K., on Thursday, Feb. 18, 2016. Samsung showed off new Galaxy S7 smartphones featuring upgraded components and the return of a popular feature missing from their predecessors, in the latest attempt to breathe life into its premium line and wrest ascendancy back from Apple Inc. Photographer: Luke MacGregor/Bloomberg

A new Samsung Electronics Co. Gear 360, left, a video camera, sends 360 degree footage to the Samsung Galaxy S7 edge with 3D thermo forming in this arranged photo in London, U.K., on Thursday, Feb. 18, 2016. Samsung showed off new Galaxy S7 smartphones featuring upgraded components and the return of a popular feature missing from their predecessors, in the latest attempt to breathe life into its premium line and wrest ascendancy back from Apple Inc. Photographer: Luke MacGregor/Bloomberg

SAN FRANCISCO — Samsung is trying to dazzle consumers by adding more entertainment and educational options to its Gear virtual reality headset as it attempts to turn a technological curiosity into a cultural phenomenon.

The new selections announced Wednesday include “Nomads,” a three-dimensional video series examining different lifestyles in remote parts of the world.

There’s also an upcoming video game called “Tactera” that requires players to plot a battlefield strategy on a holographic tabletop.

They join a menu of more than 250 apps designed for the Gear VR since its consumer model was released nearly six months ago.

Oculus, a Facebook-owned virtual reality specialist that helped design the Gear, says more than one million people are now using the $100 headset. About 80 percent of the usage is spent watching video. –AP

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