360 degree videos and cameras

Three years ago few people other than hardcore gamers and those working in specialist industrial fields were still talking about VR. Now 360 degrees and VR videos is becoming a popular video format. Virtual  reality video is a new kind of video that gives you a sense of depth in every direction so you feel like you’re actually there. 360 degrees vidoe allows you to look to any direction but does not give that sense of depth. Outside of games, music is almost certainly the most popular content type in VR right now. To view those videos so that you can feel you are in there, you will need virtual reality glasses or smart phone with Google Cardboard viewer. The YouTube video platform seeks to extend its lead in virtual reality with live immersive broadcasts as YouTube rolls out support for 360-degree live streams and spatial audio.

Companies including Facebook, Sony, Google and HTC have been investing heavily in headsets that people wear to experience virtual reality, exploring simulated environments through games or films. Critical to the success of these devices will be abundant, high-quality VR content. Even Queen legend Brian May has made a rival to Google Cardboard. YouTube has begun supporting 360-degree live streaming on its service to get us closer to the matrix. You put your smartphone into a portable device like a Google Cardboard or a Samsung Gear—or you use a more powerful computer-based setup, such as the Oculus Rift or the HTC Vive—and the device engulfs your field of vision and tracks your head movement. The filmic world is no longer flat. Wherever you look, there’s something to see.

While the attention lavished upon the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive and Magic Leap, mobile VR is also expected to be big. From Your Phone’s Next Superpower? Putting Awesome VR in Your Pocket article:  “While mobile VR may not trump PC-based VR gaming,” says Nick DiCarlo, Samsung’s head of immersive and VR products, “we do believe mobile VR can be the best when it comes to videos and social interactions.” This makes sense when you consider two things. First, no other tech approaches the smartphone’s scale: 6 billion people will own one by 2020, according to one report. And second, phones are relatively cheap¨. Because Android almost certainly will remain the world’s dominant mobile OS, Google plays an integral role in VR. AR market will grow considerably in the commercial market, such as arts and culture. Real life experiences will soon have to compete against V.R. sports, V.R. concerts, V.R. shooting games, and V.R. porn.It is estimated that The virtual and augmented reality market will reach $162 billion by 2020.

Now that live virtual reality is hitting the mainstream, you need a camera to make it happen, don’t you? How to make those 360 degree virual reality videos? You need some special tools.It looks like Affordable 360 Degree Camera Lets Anyone Create Virtual Reality Videos and The Race to Build the Best VR Camera is Escalating.

Commercial camera manufacturers are on the game

Collection of 360° Video Rigs web page tells that there are many different types of 360° video rigs, but not all of them capture the full 360×180° field of view (FOV). The page has good introduction to different ways to capture 360 degree pictures and videos. And link to mode detailed theory article 360° Video Fundamentals. The 7 Best 360° Cameras and Rigs for Shooting INSANELY Awesome VR Video article gives an overview on the 360 degree cameras that were available one year ago (09/2015). Check out also the list of the 10 best VR (Virtual Reality) headsets, too. What are the best 360-degree cameras? article lists several 360 degree camera choices.  The best and the cheapest 360 degree cameras and We Tested The Best 360 Degree Cameras Under $1000 articles list several interesting reasonably priced 360 degree cameras.

GoPro will start selling its six-camera VR rig on August 17th article tellst that GoPro has announced that it will open up sales of its six-camera “Omni” virtual reality rig when the company starts shipping preorder units on August 17th. The $5,000 setup includes six Hero 4 Black cameras, the cube-shaped metal housing, and all the hardware and software that is necessary to film and stitch the 360-degree footage that Omni captures. At $5,000, it sounds like a lot for consumers, but it’s extremely reasonable for crews or productions who want to shoot high-quality immersive video on a relatively restrained budget. There is software backend that GoPro has developed for Omni: pop out the six microSD cards out of the rig and the software stitches the 360-degree footage from them. You can export YouTube- or Facebook-ready 2K, 4K, and even 8K versions of your footage. There are liminations: Omni can’t shoot in 3D, so it’s not the best for shooting really immersive VR footage. Omni rig will set you back: $5,000 for a bundle with everything you need (six cameras, Kolor software, smart remote, cables, memory cards, etc.).

Another somewhat  similar product is Freedom360 mount which holds 6 GoPros and lets you stitch the footage together for crazy-high-quality footage.

Double Robotics now lets you turn your telepresence robot into a 360 camera dolly article tells that Double Robotics wants its robots to move beyond telepresence by allowing it’s telepresence robot is transformed into a remote-controlled camera dolly. The company has introduced a camera mount that can be affixed to its Double 1 or Double 2 robots and supports a 360 camera weighing up to five pounds.

A Drone Photosphere is Worth 4000 Times Pi Words article tells that some cheap drones now have a VR (virtual reality) mode to feed signal to a headset or a Google Cardboard-like VR setup, but they can be hard to fly because you can’t move your head freely. MAGnet Systems wants to change all that with a lightweight spherical camera made to fit on a flying vehicle. The camera is under 2.5 inches square, weighs 62 grams, and draws less than 3 watts at 12 volts. It picks up a sphere that is 360 degrees around the drone’s front and back and 240 degrees centered directly under the drone. The article lists also other potantial camera options: You can mount multiple GoPro cameras if you can afford the weight, but this seems much more practical both from a weight perspective and doesn’t require software stitching.  There are other panoramic cameras like the iris360, the LG 360, the Theta S, and the Gear 360.

This Pocketable Camera Gear Will Change the Way You Take Travel Photos article tells about LG 360 CAM that looks like an asthma inhaler, but it’s among the most futuristic pocketable cameras. Its dual wide-angle lenses capture a 360-degree view of its surroundings, which it renders as a spherical image that you can explore using your smartphone, computer or a virtual-reality headset. The $200 LG 360 CAM lets you capture full 13 MP 360° photos and record 360° video in 2K. Instead of a ball like Samsung’s Gear 360 or a box like the Nikon KeyMission 360, this two-lens camera looks very similar to Ricoh’s Theta cameras.

Nokia is alwo working on VR camera. The VR camera in question is OZO, a spherical camera that captures 3D film and video for use in virtual reality applications. By pointing eight different lenses in eight different directions, the Ozo can stitch together a spherical 3D video where you can turn your head to look in any direction. Put a VR headset on, and you can almost feel like you’re there — wherever “there” might be. Aimed at content producers like film studios, it’s priced at $60,000 (€55,000). Disney will use Nokia’s virtual reality camera to film behind-the-scenes movie extras. Nokia is creating a live VR broadcasting option for its Ozo camera that will show 360-degree video as it happens, complete with spatial audioalready equipped to handle 4K resolution feeds.

Luna is the world’s smallest 360 degree video camera article tells about pocket-sized shooter lets you create immersive videos on the cheap. The Luna camera is roughly the same size of a pool ball, promises 360-degree video in Full HD in just two clicks. It’s all done by using two 190-degree fish-eye lenses to create a 1920 x 960 resolution video at 30fps. And that’s all without the need for any extra cables or a camera rig.

Lytro Introduces ‘Immerge’ For Cinematic Virtual Reality article tells that Camera maker Lytro is hopping into virtual reality by announcing a product called “Immerge” which the company describes as “world’s first professional light field solution for cinematic VR.” Lytro wants to provide tools to shoot live action virtual reality. It built its “light field” solution from the ground up. The rig has a sphere containing five rings of light field cameras and sensors to capture video. The key is it’s collecting all of the data from all directions at any given location. The output of the camera will be compatible with all of the big players’ platforms and rigs, including Oculus’, HTC’s and Sony’s, Lytro says. With Cinema, Lytro is specifically seeking out more traditional television and film producers to taste the benefits of light field technology in as rich a way as possible.

VideoStitch unveils the Orah 4i, a tiny 360 live streaming 4K camera article tells that there’s no shortage of 360 cameras on the market these days. If you have a desire to shoot immersive video and possess a ton of disposable income then there’s nothing stopping you! The issue is what happens to that content after it’s captured – most of the captured content will not be visible to others. The Orah 4i is attempting to solve this problem by kicking all of its content onto the web instantly. Live-streaming VR content is pretty tough because of the complicated amount of video-stitching that has to take place to get each separate lens in on the action and contributing to the glorious 4K resolution. VideoStitch knows a thing or two about live-stitching 360 content. Orah 4i now can cop the camera and computing unit for $1,795, but once 4/30 hits, the device will be increasing “incrementally” to the final purchase price of $3,595.

The ‘point and shoot’ Vuze VR camera is coming this fall for $799 article tells that virtual reality cameras, on the other hand, tend to be either a few hundred dollars (e.g., Ricoh’s Theta series) or somewhere in the five-figure range. HumanEyes is aiming to fill in that gap with its decidedly prosumer Vuze VR camera. Though bigger than a Theta or or Samsung’s spherical Gear 360, the Vuze is still small enough to pocketable (depending on the size of your pockets, at least). It has eight full HD cameras, two on each side, each with 120-degree horizontal / 180-degree vertical fields of view. That setup allows it to capture stereoscopic 360 videos in 4K resolution at 30fps. An accompanying iOS / Android app is used for controlling the camera. The company says it will have “near real-time processing” (i.e., about one minute of processing per minute of footage) through its Vuze Studio app, that stitches the footage together using a variety of techniques.

Cars and other vehices can use 360 degree camera systems for added safety. ASL 360º Surround Camera System is a stand-alone system for industrial vehicles offering the operator a bird’s eye real-time view of the vehicle and its surroundings. Socionext Simplifies Evaluation of 360-Degree Wrap-Around View System with New Solution Package press release tells about a 360 degree video development system for automotive and non-automotive applications. 360° Wrap-Around View (WAV) system combines the hardware, software and support services necessary for initial evaluation and development of the WAV system.

Open hardware designs exist

First 360-degree Video From An Amateur Rocket? article tells how Portland State Aerospace Society (PSAS) stuck a 360-degree video camera into their rocket.The 360-degree video was made from video captured by five GoPro cameras stuck inside a custom-built module mounted inside the rocket body, then stitched together by PTGUI for the final video. The 360° Camera page gives details on the camera rig construction.

PiZeroVR is an on-going project to build a low cost portable PiZero based 360 camera. The development idea is to associate the 3 fisheye cameras (Raspberry Pi Camera Module) on a triangle.

 

 

Facebook has designed a 360-degree video camera, and it’s giving the designs away. Facebook’s gorgeous, open-source 360-degree video camera is part of plan to dramatically increase the amount of 360-degree video on its platform. – can be seen as addition to Facebook Live Video API, which lets developers broadcast directly to Facebook from any device.

 

This is Facebook’s gorgeous, open-source 360-degree video camera is the new state of the art. Facebook designed a $30,000 camera rig for 360-degree video to to give filmmakers a hand with creating better immersive videos.Shaped like a flying saucer, Facebook Surround 360 uses a 17-camera array and accompanying web-based software to capture images in 360 degrees and render them automatically. The rig includes 14 wide-angle cameras bolted onto the flying saucer, plus one fish-eye camera on top and two more on the bottom. The social-networking giant is offering filmmakers instructions for how to build that project Surround 360 camera designed to capture 360-degree video.Facebook believes its 17-camera setup might be more appealing because it includes software that marries the images together. Facebook has plans to release for everything from stabilizing 360-degree videos to improving data compression.Introducing Facebook Surround 360: An open, high-quality 3D-360 video capture system web page gives inntroduction to this Facebook 360 degrees camera.The system exports 4K, 6K, and 8K video for each eye. Many of the technical challenges for 3D video stem from shooting the footage in stereoscopic 360. Monoscopic 360, using two or more cameras to capture the whole 360 scene, is pretty mainstream. Consider the competition. Nokia offers a camera setup called the Ozo, which costs $60,000. GoPro, a manufacturer of extreme-sports cameras, has partnered with Google to sell its own take for $15,000.

Making VR videos takes more than camera

Music’s Salvation Might Be Selling Not Songs, But VR article tells a strange thing about making VR videos: turns out it’s really hard to show a rough cut. Even once you’ve done the complicated 360-degree shooting, and your computational algorithms have stitched all the footage together into something realistic and immersive, you still need to fine-tune the edits, sound effects, and visuals so you don’t disorient your viewers (or worse). But don’t concentrate now on that editing too much, because this posting is going to be about the camera technologies to make those videos.

Jesus is coming… to virtual reality article tells about the challenges of VR for film makers:Producers have been fretting about how to do feature films in VR, because the format doesn’t lend itself to traditional Hollywood techniques. Film directors are used to controlling what viewers watch, constantly cutting between close-ups, swooping crane shots, special effects shots, etc. However, that doesn’t work well with 360-degree VR, because the total immersion makes scene changes jarring. That’s going to be the definition of how you tell a story: Are you an observer, or are you a participant?

Studio 360: The pioneers who are making the first virtual-reality narratives article tells howstorytelling pioneers are experimenting with GoPros, 3-D printers, and homemade camera rigs to invent a new medium, cinematic VR. The filmic world is no longer flat. Wherever you look, there’s something to see. Three-hundred-and-sixty-degree camera rig picks up everything within view, including boom mikes, external lighting, and lingering crew members. It’s possible to remove such visual detritus in postproduction, but this adds time and expense. The standard practice is to call “Action!” and then run and hide. V.R. “experiences,” as they’re often called, can be fictional or journalistic, narrative or open-ended. They can look like small-budget movies, big-budget video games, or experimental art pieces with no obvious precedent. Some are called “cinematic V.R.,” or “V.R. storytelling.” Cinematic grammar no longer applies. There is no frame in which to compose a shot. The viewer can look anywhere, so the director often adds subtle (visual or auditory) cues to indicate where to look. Tracking shots must be steady and slow, because too much camera movement can cause discomfort. Most V.R. experiences last only a few minutes; more sustained stories tend to be divided into episodes. It’s not clear whether zoom lenses can be used in V.R.

 

69 Comments

  1. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Socionext Introduces New Evaluation Solution Package
    https://www.eeweb.com/company-news/socionext/socionext-introduces-new-evaluation-solution-package/

    Socionext introduced its new solution package for the evaluations of their 360º Wrap-Around View System. The package enables easy initial evaluation, development of systems for automotive and non-automotive applications. Socionext aims to expand the use of its 360° WAV system into both the automotive and the non-automotive applications, and exhibited the 360° WAV system and the evaluation solution at the “Automotive Engineering Exposition 2016” held at PACIFICO Yokohama last May 25.

    Socionext’s 360° WAV system uses cameras facing forward, backward, left and right to synthesize images on a three-dimensional model, then generate the views around the vehicle. Conventional systems synthesize images only on a two-dimensional model, and can provide a view only from a certain fixed viewpoint, such as from the top. In contrast, the WAV three-dimensional model can display views around the vehicle from any perspective, making it useful for parking assistance and other applications such as lane change while driving. The system can enhance situational awareness for operators of construction vehicles.

    Reply
  2. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Tipping Point for Virtual Reality Is Content
    http://www.designnews.com/author.asp?section_id=1386&doc_id=281687&cid=nl.x.dn14.edt.aud.dn.20160928.tst004c

    Pokémon Go may be a peek into the future of Virtual Reality (VR), but VR technology and content still has a ways to go before it gets adopted on a large scale. The on-again, off-again story of VR will ultimately be answered by content, and that content will come from the billions of dollars that are getting pumped into VR. That was the message from Chuck Carter, chief creative officer and founder of Eagre Games, in his keynote address at the Design and Manufacturing show in Minneapolis last week

    Carter has a deep reputation in the game world as one of the creators of Myst — the spooky-yet-intriguing video game from the early ’90s. These days he’s putting all his chips on VR. Yet he admits VR has yet to catch on in a decisively commercial manner. “It’s been a challenge to see what we can do with this new technology and to see if it’s here to stay,” said Carter. “VR is always going to be the next big thing — then we just see it go away.”

    Carter isn’t sure what hardware will eventually win out for VR. Pokémon only requires a smartphone. Other VR hardware requires bulky headsets. He sees promise in the trimmed-down Magic Leap.

    As for Augmented Reality (AR), Carter believes the technology is already on the road to acceptance and successful adoption. “Augmented Reality is an extra layer of reality on top of reality. AR is where the VR-type applications will come in for engineers and architects,”

    Carter sees a wide range of uses for AR that will ensure its success. “In a retail store, you can use AR to show you what you have left in stock and where to find it,” he said. He also sees possibilities for AR in the medical profession, likening the body to a jet engine.

    For VR, Carter sees a promising future even as he concedes the breakthrough hasn’t happened yet for consumers. “For me, to create a world you can go and play in is a dream come true. You can actually take an idea and put it in a form that other people can play in,” he said. “With the technology around now, you can make it so real. This will open up content creation beyond what we’ve been able to do in the past.”

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  3. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Sean O’Kane / The Verge:
    Samsung Gear 360 review: an easy-to-use unit that takes good pictures but is held back by poor image stitching and durability issues
    http://www.theverge.com/2016/10/5/13168564/samsung-gear-360-camera-review-video-photos

    Here’s an obvious statement: The shift from film to digital changed the way we take photos and record videos. What’s less obvious about that, or at least easier to forget, is that this shift wasn’t just a one-time thing. Digital photography has given photographers, videographers, and the companies that make the tech the freedom to try out all sorts of new ideas.

    Some of these experiments have stuck, like how we have miniaturized cameras to the point that we can shoot 4K video with our smartphones. Others, like 3D video, have flailed.

    One of the newest experiments, virtual reality, is a grand one. And as we wait to see if that takes hold, we’re seeing some of the tech that powers VR spawn a more accessible version of the idea: consumer-level cameras that shoot 360-degree video and photos. Samsung’s new Gear 360 is already one of the most recognizable of these cameras, and it’s one of the first from a big company with major imaging resources.

    First let’s run through the basics. The $349 Gear 360 uses two fisheye lenses on either side of the camera. You can use just one of these lenses if you want — the super-wide view could substitute for the look of an action camera in a pinch, though it doesn’t approach the quality or versatility of a GoPro or one of Sony’s cameras. But the point of the Gear 360 is to shoot with both lenses, and then either use one of Samsung’s newest smartphones or a PC app to stitch the images or videos together.

    Each lens works with a 15-megapixel sensor, meaning the camera can shoot 30-megapixel 360-degree stills or 3840 x 1920 video. That’s just under true 4K, which puts the Gear 360 near the top of the market in terms of resolution — for example, other 360 cameras, such as the 360fly and Kodak, offer full 4K shooting, while LG’s 360 Cam and Ricoh’s Theta S shoot lower-resolution footage.

    t’s important to note, though, that 4K here doesn’t mean the same as it does when we’re talking about regular 4K video. When Samsung and its 360-degree competitors use 4K, the pixels they’re talking about are spread around the entire sphere. At any given time when you’re watching a 360-degree video you’re only looking at a fraction of that full 4K capture, and so the quality of the image that these cameras can record is not on par with traditional digital cameras — not even the ones in your smartphone.

    Photos look great, videos are just fine

    You can certainly see the line where the two images get stitched together, but if you keep your subject more than five feet away it’s easy enough to mitigate. Photos are even better, especially in broad daylight. The only problem there is that your options for sharing 360 photos (like this one) are even more limited than with spherical video.

    Facebook is your best bet, but they have to live there completely — you can’t embed them around the internet like you can with 360 videos.

    What I liked best about the Gear 360 is how simple it is to operate.

    That pseudo ecosystem lock-in has a few benefits. For one, it’s really easy to view footage that you’ve shot with the Gear 360 on a Gear VR. Second, the camera plays nice with Samsung’s phones

    The Gear 360 is a simple camera, but it’s also often a frustrating one. The biggest source of that frustration comes from what should be a simple process: transferring footage from the camera to your phone.

    If you shoot a video more than five minutes long on the Gear 360, it takes at least 10 minutes to transfer to your phone.

    the transfer can be disrupted by either a hiccup in the Bluetooth connection or the camera dying (you can’t transfer footage while the camera is charging).

    There was a problem with uploading the footage, which is admittedly not just Samsung’s problem.

    Facebook currently caps its 360-degree uploads at 1GB

    experimentation is really what this version of the Gear 360 is best for. This is not the 360-degree camera you will own for years — it’s a first-generation product that, before we know it, Samsung will replace with a true 4K or even 8K model.

    With this in mind, I found myself using the Gear 360 to film moments that were more like home movies, like that wedding. The idea that, years from now, I could throw on a pair of VR goggles and immerse myself in a memory — footage of a friend’s wedding, of me playing with my dog, or even an otherwise normal lunch date with my girlfriend — is a powerful one, and might wind up being the ultimate driver for buying a camera like this in the first place. And the implications of that power are only going to become more pressing as the quality of the cameras increases in the coming years.

    The Gear 360 comes with a little stand of its own but you want to get the camera off the floor, off of tables, or off the ground, otherwise you’re wasting a big chunk of the 360 degrees available to you. The most effective video you’ll shoot with a camera like this is probably going to be shot at an average eye level, five feet in the air or so.

    Two, don’t move around with the camera, unless what you’re shooting really demands it (like on the hood of a car). And definitely don’t hand-hold it. The more the camera moves, the more that viewers are going to have to try to compensate for that — either by clicking and dragging around in a browser window or by spinning their head in a VR headset. Neither of those things are good.

    The Gear 360, and basically any other 360 camera on the market right now, is at its best when it’s in the middle of a scene, or in the middle of the action. You want your subjects to be relatively close, but not so close that the stitching becomes really noticeable.

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  4. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Cheap 360 Degree Camera
    http://hackaday.com/2016/10/09/cheap-360-degree-camera/

    How much would you pay for a 360 degree camera? How about $15 if you already have a Raspberry Pi and a Pi camera hanging around? If you don’t, you’ll have to add that minimal cost into the build. [Gigafide] noticed how a spherical mirror, made to see around corners, showed an all-around view if you took a picture of it from below. He snagged a panoramic lens made for an iPhone and stripped it for its optics. Some custom software and a little work resulted in a usable 360 degree camera.

    SimpleCV (a light version of OpenCV) provides the algorithms to unwrap the frames and you can take video with the setup

    Uber Cheap 360 Video Camera
    http://www.instructables.com/id/Uber-Cheap-360-Video-Camera/

    Reply
  5. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Frederic Lardinois / TechCrunch:
    Google releases Sprayscape, an experimental 360-degree VR collage camera app for Android

    Google’s new Sprayscape app is purposely imperfect
    https://techcrunch.com/2016/10/12/spray-and-pray/

    With Android Experiments, Google is giving itself the freedom to experiment with quirky little apps that show off some interesting technologies but don’t really have any other real purpose. The latest of these experimental projects is Sprayscape, a VR camera app for Android that is probably not quite what you expect when you read the words “VR camera app.”

    Unlike similar apps, including Google’s own Cardboard Camera, Sprayscape doesn’t simply capture a 360-degree sphere. “Just point your phone and tap the screen to spray faces, places, or anything else onto your canvas,” is how Google describes it.

    Once you’ve captured your 360-degree photo collage, you can share your photos with the rest of the world via a link.

    All that will give you is a very blurry image. It’s all a bit weird, but oddly fun, too.

    The app uses the Cardboard SDK to read gyroscope data and the NatCam Unity plugin to control the camera. Google has published the app’s code on GitHub,

    https://github.com/googlecreativelab/Sprayscape/
    https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.androidexperiments.sprayscape

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  6. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Janko Roettgers / Variety:
    Inside Google’s quest to bring back 3D video through JUMP, its 3D video capture and production platform and one part of a larger effort to popularize VR

    Virtual Reality in Depth: Inside Google’s Quest to Bring Back 3D Video (EXCLUSIVE)
    http://variety.com/2016/digital/news/google-jump-3d-video-1201885799/

    It all started with a 3D-printed piece of plastic, zip ties and a bunch of masking tape: Google’s Seattle-based computer vision team seemed to channel MacGyver when it began to experiment with capturing 3D video in the fall of 2014, testing out a bunch of different camera setups put together in the form of janky rigs.

    Two years later, the results of those early trials have led to JUMP, Google’s 3D video capture and production platform. JUMP is just one part of Google’s efforts to popularize virtual reality; the company also introduced a low-cost VR headset dubbed Daydream View alongside its new phones last week.

    Here’s how these pieces fit together: Daydream wants to get people to use VR. JUMP aims to make it VR more immersive, thanks to the power of 3D, while also lowering production costs to the point where many more content producers can shoot 3D video. “Before this, stereo 360 was entirely for high-end visual effects studios,” said JUMP technical lead Sameer Agarwal during a recent interview with Variety.

    Let’s face it: 3D has become a bit of a dirty word for both Hollywood and consumers. Just a few years ago, the movie industry tied its hopes for the survival of home video to 3D, betting that the excitement for 3D blockbusters would translate to the living room. But 3D TVs largely flopped because of a lack of consumer interest, relegating 3D effects to theaters and big Hollywood blockbusters.

    But with growing interest in VR headsets, 3D is getting a kind of second chance — albeit with a very different twist. There are some technical differences to the way 3D works in theaters, on 3D TVs and on VR headsets, but the bigger change is how content creators are using 3D. In VR, 3D is being used as a much more subtle effect to add to the overall sense of immersion — something that neither a TV screen nor a big theater can provide.

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  7. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Think virtual reality is just about games? Think again, friend
    Why we may all be calling movies ‘flatties’ in a few years
    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2016/10/18/virtual_reality_is_not_just_about_games/

    With the launch of PlayStation’s VR headset, we are clearly entering a brave new world of virtual reality – everything from the low-end Google Daydream to the far-too-expensive Oculus Rift.

    But while interest has been focused on the gaming possibilities, an undercurrent of filmmakers has started exploring the storytelling possibilities that VR brings.

    Most famous is Iron Man director Jon Favreau, who has created a “preview” story called Gnomes & Goblins. But at the Austin Film Festival this weekend, a number of other filmmakers took the stage to tell an excited crowd about their experiments with the form, and what they had learned so far.

    First up: Deepak Chetty, a director, cinematographer and VR nerd who has won awards for his 3D short films and has been paid by the Washington Post, among others, to explore what VR can mean for real-world stories.

    Chetty drew a distinction right away between virtual reality – through which games are experienced – and “immersive” content where your perspective is fixed but the content is “non-framed.”

    And that expression – “non-framed” – is perhaps the easiest way of understanding the distinction between the world of cinema as it is now and the world of VR storytelling that people like Chetty hope to create in future.

    Cinema – the movies we watch today – are “framed.” The director decides what fits within a given rectangular space in front of you. With VR, that space is all around you. And it requires a completely different approach.

    “I like to call them ‘flatties’,” said Emily Best, the CEO of Seed&Spark, a crowdfunding site for independent filmmakers. “It also helps you think about VR as a completely different medium.”

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  8. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Nokia demoed again Ozo-5G video-transfer

    Nokia Ozo camera produces great virtual image, but the transferring wirelessly also requires quite a bit of bandwidth. Nokia has again demoed 4K-level 3D virtual video transfer virtual screens 5G connection, this time with the United Arab du operator.

    The demonstration was held in Dubai GITEX 2016 event. Demon network hardware based AirScale base station and use the 4.5 GHz frequency.

    The demo used 400 megahertz bandwidth that made it possible for 360 video could be streamed wirelessly to a multi-user virtual glasses.

    Source: http://etn.fi/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=5230:nokia-demosi-taas-ozo-videon-5g-siirtoa&catid=13&Itemid=101

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  9. Tomi Engdahl says:

    360-Degree Wrap-Around-View Technology
    http://socionextus.com/products/graphics-solutions/360-degree-wrap-around-view-technology/

    The Socionext 360° Wrap-Around Video Imaging Technology synthesizes images from four cameras to create a true 3-D hemispheric view of a vehicle’s surroundings. The technology enables flexible omnidirectional monitoring around a vehicle from a dynamically definable perspective or “free eye point.” Conventional multi-camera “bird’s eye view” technologies stitch together two-dimensional images, often resulting in distorted images.

    The 360° Wrap-Around Video Imaging Technology uses advanced algorithms to smoothly combine images from each camera to offer a seamless and clear 360° view.

    The 360° Wrap-Around Video Imaging Technology aids vehicle safety by providing visual assistance to the driver.

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  10. Tomi Engdahl says:

    HP, Dell, Lenovo, Asus and Acer will all ship VR headsets for your PC starting at $299
    https://techcrunch.com/2016/10/26/hp-dell-lenovo-asus-and-acer-will-all-ship-vr-headsets-for-your-pc-starting-at-299/

    Microsoft is currently holding a press conference in New York. The company is focusing a lot on 3D and all sorts of realities, from augmented reality to virtual reality. As part of this big push, Microsoft announced that it is partnering with five different brands that will all ship VR headsets for the next Windows 10 update.

    Microsoft said that HP, Dell, Lenovo, Asus and Acer are all working on tethered VR headsets for your PC with six degrees of freedom sensors. It means that you won’t need external sensors or a big room like with the HTC Vive. And these headsets will start at $299.

    Watch out, Oculus and HTC as OEMs are coming after you. Microsoft and its partners are quickly turning VR headsets into commodity items. And this could be a breath of fresh air for virtual reality as a whole.

    The Windows 10 Creators Update is coming next spring, so you can expect to buy these headsets early next year when Microsoft ships this update. The company also demoed Windows 10 apps in virtual reality.

    Reply
  11. Tomi Engdahl says:

    A Virtual Glimpse Into The Forest
    http://hackaday.com/2016/10/29/a-virtual-glimpse-into-the-forest/

    Taking a stroll through the woods in the midst of autumn is a stunning visual experience. It does, however, require one to live nearby a forest. If you are one of those who does not, [Koen Hufkens] has recently launched the Virtual Forest project — a VR experience that takes you though a day in a deciduous forest.

    First off, you don’t need a VR apparatus to view the scenery. Web-browsers and most smart phones are capable of displaying the 360 degree images. The Raspberry Pi 2-controlled Ricoh Theta S camera is enclosed in a glass lamp cover and — with the help of some PVC pipe — mounted on a standard fence post. Power is delivered ingeniously via a Cat5e cable

    Virtual Forest
    http://virtualforest.io/index.html

    Reply
  12. Tomi Engdahl says:

    8 camera sees in every direction

    Electronica – ADAS, or assistive technologies and automated driver have a big role in Munich, Bavaria, where we are. Japanese Renesas will present a second-generation full-view ADAS. It is formed by using the car a comprehensive 360-degree image with eight cameras.

    Renesas will present at the fair act on a fun-development platform. Eight of the camera can be carried out according to the company’s so-called. electrical mirrors, control the status of the driver and the vehicle environmental monitoring at the same time.

    But what is the electronic mirror? According to Renesas will not take long, when the cameras replace conventional mirrors.

    In Renesas solution the cameras are 13-megapixel sensors from OmiVision.
    R-H3-circuit cameras are connected GSML Gbit link. Graphics engine circuit is Imagination Technologies’ PowerVR GX6650.

    Source: http://etn.fi/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=5368:8-kameralla-nakee-joka-suuntaan&catid=13&Itemid=101

    Reply
  13. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Bet You’ve Never Seen Snow Leopards Mating Before
    https://www.wired.com/2016/11/bet-youve-never-seen-snow-leopards-mating/

    Filming nature documentaries is a singular pursuit—often terrible conditions, lots of things biting you, and lots of waiting for your subject to show up. And it doesn’t get much more challenging than tracking snow leopards in the Kashmir mountains.

    So to capture a snow leopard for David Attenborough’s new series Planet Earth II, the crew had to combine patience, luck, and a whole lot of fancy tech

    You can see it all above in glorious 360 degrees

    Snow leopards in 360° – Planet Earth II: Mountains – BBC One
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BwKytZ-SJ7s

    Reply
  14. Tomi Engdahl says:

    360° Wrap-Around View System with Megapixel Cameras
    https://www.eeweb.com/company-blog/socionext/360-wrap-around-view-system-with-megapixel-cameras/

    Designed to greatly enhance a driverʼs visual awareness, Socionextʼs 360° Wrap-Around View System is an automotive technology that builds composite 3D models from cameras mounted on a vehicle that record images from four directions. Although commercial systems already exist that combine the images of four cameras for helping drivers to improve their visibility, conventional technologies can only create 2D composites, which limits the systemʼs ability to display particular perspectives. By building a composite 3D model using input from four cameras, Socionextʼs developed technology allows users to observe a fully panoramic view of the vehicle that can be freely controlled to display all angles.

    Reply
  15. Tomi Engdahl says:

    VLC 360 Technical Preview
    VLC gets 360-degree video playback
    http://www.pcadvisor.co.uk/download/audio-video-photo/vlc-360-technical-preview-3331103/

    VLC 360 Technical Preview is an early version of VLC Media Player 3.0 with support for playing 360-degree videos.

    The program installs, looks and feels like any other version of VLC, and it can open and play all your videos, audio files or discs.

    What you also now get is support for 360-degree videos and panoramas following the spherical and spatial video specs.

    These videos play just as before, but you’re now able to left-click and drag within a video to look around.

    VLC 360° Technical Preview
    Play all your 360° videos and images directly with VLC!
    http://people.videolan.org/~jb/Builds/360/

    With the help of Giroptic, VLC becomes the first major video player app to play 360° videos out of the box.
    VLC 3.0 final release will merge those features on all platforms.

    Reply
  16. Tomi Engdahl says:

    GIROPTIC 360cam
    http://eu.360.tv/en/

    Up. Down. All Around

    Meet the 360cam. It takes pictures, makes videos, live streams, and is compatible with Virtual Reality.

    Reply
  17. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Janko Roettgers / Variety:
    VLC previews 360° video and photo support for its desktop apps, says the feature will come to mobile soon; dedicated VLC apps for VR headsets due in 2017

    360-Degree Video Playback Coming to VLC, VR Headset Support Planned for 2017
    http://variety.com/2016/digital/news/vlc-vr-headset-360-video-support-1201926772/

    Popular open source video playback app VLC has added support for 360-degree video to its desktop versions, and is planning to bring 360-degree support to its mobile apps in the near future as well. Dedicated VLC versions for virtual reality (VR) headsets like Oculus Rift and Google Daydream will likely be added next year as well.

    New test versions of VLC for Windows and Macintosh computers can be downloaded from the VLC website for free. The apps can play 360 videos as well as 360 photos and panorama shots; users can pan through these videos with the help of their mouse or keyboard.

    Reply
  18. Tomi Engdahl says:

    360 Video: It’s Everywhere You Look
    How and why this new technology will alter our perception of distance.
    http://semiengineering.com/360-video-its-everywhere-you-look/

    360 degree video is changing not only the way we consume content, but the way we create it. We’re no longer restricted to sharing our experiences in selfies, single photos or even panoramas to capture more of a given scene. With 360 degree video we can now share the whole scene, and not just in static images, but in motion. Better still, gone are the days of retrospective slideshows of your favourite holiday pics, now you can share what’s happening right now, with the people you really wish could be there with you.

    So how does 360 video actually work? Well, first of all we obviously have to capture the entire scene. This is made possible using a series of two or more cameras, as in the below image, to capture different fields of view.

    After we’ve captured high quality views of all the angles, we need to consolidate them to create one cohesive scene. We do this by ‘stitching’ together each of the individual views, as seamlessly as possible, to create a single panorama that covers the entire 360 degrees. This is, of course, where using only two cameras can make things easier.

    Once we’ve created this circular environment we need to figure out how to use it. To view 360 as a normal video, as you’ve almost certainly done on Facebook, is simple, you can just choose to scroll around the view as you wish, to see the areas not immediately in front of you. To view it In a VR headset for a truly immersive experience requires a little more work. As we know from our previous forays into VR content creation, we need to create two marginally different views, one for each eye. This is to ensure the brain can interpret the images as they would in the real world, whereas if we created the two views identically the brain would intuitively understand that something was wrong and the immersion of the experience would be instantly compromised.

    o get this right we can use clever technologies like our Multiview extension to create the duplicate views without doubling the rendering overhead. Barrel distortion also then needs to be applied to ensure the pin cushion effect, caused by having the lens right next to the eye, is counteracted.

    This is still a pretty complex process and might seem beyond the capability of the average user, but it’s no longer the realm of specialist agencies, or several thousand dollar custom cameras

    Reply
  19. Tomi Engdahl says:

    From Virtual to Actual: Network Realities of VR
    http://www.btreport.net/articles/2016/12/from-virtual-to-actual-network-realities-of-vr.html?cmpid=enl_BTR_Weekly_2016-12-06&email_address=tomi.engdahl@netcontrol.fi&eid=289644432&bid=1605700

    Christmas is coming, and the airwaves are filled with holiday commercials, tempting people to buy more, spend more for the holidays. This year, one of the advertisements shows gatherings of people, around the decorated tree, for example, wearing virtual reality (VR) devices and exclaiming with glee about whatever it is they are experiencing.

    Today, to be truly immersed in an alternate environment one has to be tethered to a powerful computer, Blair said. “What we truly want is to be able to go anywhere and take the capability in the mobile sense. 5G will be really important to take VR to the next stage.”

    To make for a really great VR experience, the viewer needs to not be able to see pixels, and the images have to be refreshed rapidly. The human brain will be confused if it expects the image to move in a certain way and it does not.

    “This has got to have a lot of processing power and feel like a real-time environment,” Blair said.

    What does that mean? Steve Glennon, principal architect, CableLabs’ Advanced Technology Group, has said that VR needs throughput of 30 Mbps to 40 Mbps. In comparison, the Netflix Internet Connection Speed Recommendations suggest 5 Mbps for HD.

    For a near-pixel-less situation, the headsets need UltraHD feeds, and 16-24 images must be delivered to get a sense of participation. Consider also that the VR application likely won’t be the only one running in a house with multiple connected devices.

    “This is going to blow up our bandwidth capacity demand,” Blair said.

    For their part, cable operators will need to be able to support the latency and delay requirements necessary for real-time interaction, as in a gaming application. The Internet was designed to support connectivity, and now is evolving into a consumption tool, with projections indicating that 90% of traffic will be video or video formatted by 2020, Blair said.

    Reply
  20. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Josh Constine / TechCrunch:
    Facebook launches Live 360 video from NatGeo now, everyone next year — Following YouTube’s rollout of 4K 360 live broadcasting, but beating Twitter’s Periscope to the punch, Facebook today announced initial support for 360-degree Live streams. National Geographic’s Facebook Page will publish …

    Facebook launches Live 360 video from NatGeo now, everyone next year
    https://techcrunch.com/2016/12/12/facebook-launches-live-360-video-from-natgeo-today-everyone-next-year/

    Following YouTube’s rollout of 4K 360 live broadcasting, but beating Twitter’s Periscope to the punch, Facebook today announced initial support for 360-degree Live streams. National Geographic‘s Facebook Page will publish the first 360 Live video tomorrow at noon pacific time as scientists emerge from 80 days of isolation in pods at Utah’s Mars Desert Research Station. The stream will feature footage from the mock Mars landscape and interviews with the researchers.

    Later this month, Facebook Live 360 broadcasting will become an option in the Facebook Live’s API. Next year, Facebook plans to roll out the immersive, real-time video streaming capability to all Pages and users.

    As for what devices people will be able to stream from Facebook tells me, “we recommend using a Nokia Ozo or Freedom360 Broadcaster rig with Vahana VR for high quality experiences, or the Giroptic iO, Insta360 Nano or Ricoh Theta S for less produced moments.”

    YouTube is leading the way, as anyone can currently live stream in 360, but only if they have special encoder software set up on their computer like OBS streaming from a Ricoh Theta S.

    Facebook is a bit behind, but will take a more user-friendly approach to broadcasting, aiming to allow normal profiles to be able to easily broadcast from a 360 mobile device without desktop software.

    Twitter is lagging, as it currently doesn’t offer any 360 support from Periscope, though it’s built the foundation for 360 streaming from encoders into its Periscope Producer feature. Snapchat notably lacks any 360 features.

    Creators are still experimenting as they try to figure out what will be exciting in 360 live. Right now the content feels more like demos than any true storytelling.

    Reply
  21. Tomi Engdahl says:

    VR Stitches Remote Travel Services
    AMD demos 360-degree video stitching
    http://www.eetimes.com/document.asp?doc_id=1330967&

    You may not have to leave your couch for your next summer vacation. Multiple companies are working to enable real-time 360-degree video services over virtual reality headsets.

    Advanced Micro Devices is working with three companies who aim to deliver remote travel services as early as this summer. The elements for such services are just starting to come together.

    As many as 40 companies now offer 360-degree cameras or camera rigs, said Mike Schmit, a director of software engineering at AMD. Another dozen companies are developing VR headsets, some of them targeting specialty markets such as arcades, he said.

    In between, AMD and others are enabling the real-time stitching and encoding software such services need. AMD’s demo included a high-end PC configured to handle the stitching and a separate system driving an HTC Vive headset for viewing it.

    At a company event here, AMD demonstrated real-time video-stitching software it is making open source for 360-degree video at 4K resolution. Ultimately the company aims to write code that can handle 16K resolution over the 360-degree field that users could view in 4K segments.

    The demo supported 8-bit color and graphics overlays, using a rig of seven cameras AMD created. The next version will support 10-bit color.

    Reply
  22. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Josh Constine / TechCrunch:
    Facebook launches Live 360 video from NatGeo now, everyone next year
    https://techcrunch.com/2016/12/12/facebook-launches-live-360-video-from-natgeo-today-everyone-next-year/

    Following YouTube’s rollout of 4K 360 live broadcasting, but beating Twitter’s Periscope to the punch, Facebook today announced initial support for 360-degree Live streams. National Geographic‘s Facebook Page will publish the first 360 Live video tomorrow

    Reply
  23. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Jacob Kastrenakes / The Verge:
    Wordpress adds support for 360-degree photos and video to all its hosted blogs, viewable on desktop, mobile, and VR headsets — All blogs hosted by WordPress.com are getting the ability to host VR content today. The site is launching support for 360-degree photos and videos …

    WordPress blogs now support 360-degree videos in virtual reality
    http://www.theverge.com/2016/12/15/13966118/wordpress-webvr-360-degree-photos-videos-virtual-reality

    All blogs hosted by WordPress.com are getting the ability to host VR content today. The site is launching support for 360-degree photos and videos, which will be viewable on desktop, mobile, and through actual virtual reality headsets.

    The experience differs depending on how you’re visiting the site. On a desktop browser, you’ll be able to click and drag around a photo or video to change perspective — basically what you can already do on YouTube or Facebook. But if you have a VR headset attached, you’ll be able to put it on and get a proper experience, with the photo or video moving around in response to how you move your head.

    On mobile, the experience is somewhere in between the two. WordPress will be able to tap into your phone or tablet’s gyroscope so that the photo or video will respond to how you move the device around. If the phone is inside something like a Cardboard VR viewer, then it’d essentially be the same experience as on a real VR headset; and even if you’re just holding it in the air, it’ll still be more natural than clicking and dragging around.

    Reply
  24. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Alessandro Sabatelli / The Twitter Blog:
    Twitter introduces live 360-degree videos on Periscope and Twitter from select partners — Today, we’re introducing a new way to see what’s happening on Twitter – through live 360 video. — Starting today, you can check out live, interactive 360 videos from interesting broadcasters and explore what’s happening with them.

    Check out live 360 video on Twitter
    https://blog.twitter.com/2016/check-out-live-360-video-on-twitter

    Today, we’re introducing a new way to see what’s happening on Twitter – through live 360 video.

    Starting today, you can check out live, interactive 360 videos from interesting broadcasters and explore what’s happening with them. You’ll be able to get an inside look with well-known personalities and go behind the scenes at exclusive events.

    Reply
  25. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Anyone can now make and publish Daydream VR apps
    https://www.slashgear.com/anyone-can-now-make-and-publish-daydream-vr-apps-26473000/

    While virtual reality technology and hardware are almost “there”, actual significant content remains hard to come by. With more powerful systems like the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive, the price of equipment presents a high barrier to entry. Google’s smartphone-powered Daydream VR platform, in contrast, is more accessible but has been closed off to outsiders. That is, until now. Google has now swung the doors wide open, allowing anyone and everyone who is a developer to not only make Daydream apps but also get them up on the Daydream app store. If they meet the criteria.

    Reply
  26. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Ken Yeung / VentureBeat:
    Lytro raises $60M Series D from Blue Pool Capital, Foxconn, Qualcomm Ventures, Andreessen Horowitz, NEA, GSV, others to bring light field VR technology to Asia

    Lytro raises $60 million to bring light field VR technology into Asia
    http://venturebeat.com/2017/02/15/lytro-raises-60-million-to-bring-light-field-vr-technology-into-asia/

    Lytro may have had some setbacks in 2016, but it appears to be onto something. Investors have noticed the potential of the company’s light field technology, so much that Lytro has raised another round of funding, bringing in $60 million in new capital.

    “We believe that Asia in general and China in particular represent hugely important markets for VR and cinematic content over the next five years,” said company CEO Jason Rosenthal.

    Lytro wants to be a major player for studios and companies seeking high-quality production value for their VR projects. Rosenthal told VentureBeat that he sees this space as being a “new computing platform bigger than the mobile revolution. From entertainment, to education, training, and teleportation, how we get together and meet will be transformed by this medium.” And the company doesn’t think its focus should be limited to just the U.S., one of the largest markets for virtual reality, which is why it’s now targeting Asia and Greater China.

    While Lytro currently doesn’t have any business operations in Asia, its Immerge and Cinema hardware devices and accompanying software can be used around the world. Rosenthal believes that the Asian market will be important over the next couple of years

    In other news, Lytro revealed that its Immerge camera is now production ready and is already being used in multiple projects, with the first one at VR studio Within. The film is still in post-production work and expected to premiere next quarter. Previously, Lytro had created demo projects themselves

    https://www.lytro.com/

    Reply
  27. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Lucas Matney / TechCrunch:
    Facebook launches Facebook 360, a hub for 360-degree photos and videos available only on Samsung Gear VR — Facebook has devoted major resources and billions of dollars to virtual reality, but there has been a pretty clear line between what happens in the main Facebook app and what happens on the Oculus Rift and Gear VR.

    Facebook debuts its first dedicated virtual reality app, Facebook 360
    https://techcrunch.com/2017/03/08/facebook-debuts-its-first-dedicated-virtual-reality-app-facebook-360/

    Facebook has devoted major resources and billions of dollars to virtual reality, but there has been a pretty clear line between what happens in the main Facebook app and what happens on the Oculus Rift and Gear VR.

    Today, Facebook is intertwining the real and virtual worlds of Facebook a bit by launching its first dedicated app, Facebook 360. The app will serve as a hub for the 360 video and photo content posted to the site. Facebook boasts that there have ben more than one million 360 videos posted to the site alongside more than 25 million 360 photos to date. At launch, the Facebook 360 app will be available only for the Gear VR mobile headset. Users can download the app in the Oculus Store.

    Reply
  28. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Oculus:
    Oculus launches Facebook Livestreaming for Gear VR and Rooms 1.2 update with 360 video support, adds Voice search and Events to the Oculus platform

    Introducing Rooms 1.2 and Oculus Events for Gear VR—Plus a Look at Facebook Livestreaming and Oculus Voice
    https://www.oculus.com/blog/introducing-rooms-12-and-oculus-events-for-gear-vrplus-a-look-at-facebook-livestreaming-and-oculus-voice/?_fb_noscript=1

    The transportive magic of VR is even better when it’s experienced with other people. Late last year, we launched Oculus Rooms and Parties to let you hang out with friends in VR. Now, we’re adding a new dimension to social VR with exciting updates to the Rooms experience for Gear VR, plus the launch of Oculus Events.

    Watch 360 Videos and More with Friends in Oculus Rooms 1.2

    To make finding great videos even easier, we’ve added voice search to Rooms.

    Connect Across the Mobile VR Ecosystem with Oculus Events

    This new feature lets you find public events and interact with others in Gear VR.

    Reply
  29. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Darrell Etherington / TechCrunch:
    Facebook opens 360-degree streaming to all users with compatible devices

    Facebook opens up 360-degree live streaming to all
    https://techcrunch.com/2017/03/29/facebook-opens-up-360-degree-live-streaming-to-all/

    Facebook just made live streaming 360-degree video relatively easy, provided you have the equipment to capture the content. Users of devices like the new 2017 model Gear 360 just announced at the S8 smartphone launch, or the Insta360 Nano (for iPhone) and Air (for Android), or a host of higher-end models designed for pros, you can go live and broadcast an immersive feed for your audience.

    The feature works using Facebook’s livestreaming video tech, providing 1080p, 30fps playback and a maximum streaming time of four hours, which should be plenty for whatever you’re planing to immersively immerse your immersion hungry audience within. You’ll need a decent connection to make for a smooth broadcast, as Facebook recommends 4 Mbps down to ensure quality, and you can use either a camera’s dedicated app to go live, or navigate to facebook.com/live/create to use with cameras not already set up specifically to stream using Facebook’s new tool.

    Reply
  30. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Samsung updates Gear 360 camera with slimmer design, 4K and live video support
    https://venturebeat.com/2017/03/29/samsung-updates-gear-360-camera-with-slimmer-design-4k-and-live-video-support/

    More than a year after introducing its 360-degree camera, Samsung is updating it so it’s “cuter” and meets the needs of creators. The latest incarnation now has a slimmer design that makes it look like a miniature Kuri robot, an improved camera that can now record 4K video, iOS support, and livestreaming capability through YouTube.

    Samsung has not released pricing for its next-generation Gear 360 camera nor when it’ll go on sale, but it’s possible that the device could run about the same as its predecessor at $350.

    Reply
  31. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Facebook will license its new 360 cameras that capture in six degrees of freedom
    https://techcrunch.com/2017/04/19/facebooks-new-360-cameras-that-capture-in-six-degrees-of-freedom-will-be-licensed/?ncid=mobilerecirc_featured

    On day two of Facebook’s F8 conference, Facebook’s CTO Mike Schroepfer showed off designs for two new 360 cameras that the company is going to help push to market. The x24, with 24 cameras, and its little brother the x6, with six cameras, can each capture in six degrees of freedom for more immersive 360 content. Facebook plans to license the designs of the two cameras to select commercial partners to get each to market later this year.

    Reply
  32. Tomi Engdahl says:

    conceptual idea, sometimes referred to as volumetric capture, has been heralded for some time as a major milestone for VR. Startups like Lytro have been betting on light fields to get the job done, while 8i has taken a software approach. Instead, Facebook is taking a sparse lens orientation approach that avoids the complex rigs all-together.

    The benefit of capturing depth information at the pixel level is that it enables fun post-production video masking where a creator could swap out mountains in the background of a video for a beach instead

    Facebook is partnering with post-production companies and VFX houses, including Adobe, Otoy, Foundry, Mettle, DXO, Here Be Dragons, Framestore, Magnopus and The Mill.

    Source: https://techcrunch.com/2017/04/19/facebooks-new-360-cameras-that-capture-in-six-degrees-of-freedom-will-be-licensed/?ncid=mobilerecirc_featured

    Reply
  33. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Joshua Goldman / CNET:
    GoPro unveils Fusion, a small wearable, 5.2K spherical camera for capturing both VR and non-VR content, slated for limited commercial release at the end of 2017 — The spherical camera, called Fusion, is small and wearable, but a lot of other details are a mystery.

    GoPro has a new 360 VR camera that you can’t have
    https://www.cnet.com/news/gopro-fusion-5k-spherical-vr-camera-that-you-cant-have/

    The spherical camera, called Fusion, is small and wearable, but a lot of other details are a mystery.

    Reply
  34. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Nokia plans comeback on back of virtual reality
    Faces off with Facebook Surround 360 kit
    https://www.theregister.co.uk/2017/04/24/nokia_plans_comeback_virtual_reality/

    The Nokia as we traditionally know it is no more, and the reborn company of today is pinning a core part of its future business strategy on emerging virtual reality (VR) technologies.

    In the run-up to the National Association of Broadcasters trade show next week in Las Vegas, Nokia has announced the launch of OZO Reality – an updated set of technologies for supporting the delivery, creation and end user experience of VR content.

    Nokia is hoping to propel uptake of its OZO camera, a $40,000 piece of kit with eight sensors and eight microphones, by bundling in its updated software packages to provide producers with a tempting all-round tool set.

    The specs and partners look impressive, but perhaps OZO’s only serious challenger in the space at present is Facebook, which has just unveiled the second generation of its Surround 360 camera this week.

    The creation side of the update includes OZO+, an upgraded version of Nokia’s VR camera solution, as well as the OZO Live 3D 360 stream and audio system. OZO Creator has also been given a revamp for VR image processing techniques and stereoscopic software, which now includes something Nokia calls mixed reality enablement – meaning the integration of features such as advertising and game engine elements. Delivery is a thorn in the side of the VR industry, so Nokia’s OZO Deliver software component claims to enable partners of the OZO Reality platform to ingest and manage immersive experiences – delivered at lower bandwidth to broader audiences.

    A key feature is Nokia’s OZO Player SDK, which is being integrated by a number of partners to provide a single interface for all major VR and 360 video platforms and apps – which it says now includes depth rendering with occlusion to provide real-time integration of the aforementioned mixed reality elements.

    Reply
  35. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Sean O’Kane / The Verge:
    Xiaomi-backed Yi Technology debuts Yi Halo, a $17K 17-camera VR rig made in partnership with Google that can shoot stereoscopic video in 8K resolution at 30FPS — Plus a promising new 360-degree consumer camera from Yi Technology — Chinese company Yi Technology has made a name for itself …

    This is Google Jump’s next-generation VR camera rig
    Plus a promising new 360-degree consumer camera from Yi Technology
    http://www.theverge.com/circuitbreaker/2017/4/24/15405540/yi-technology-halo-360-vr-google-jump-start-camera

    Chinese company Yi Technology has made a name for itself in the last two years by releasing some surprisingly capable GoPro competitors. Now the Xiaomi-backed Yi is expanding into the world of VR and 360-degree video with two new cameras being announced at the NAB conference in Las Vegas. One is for professionals — it’s called the Yi Halo, and it was made in partnership with Google. The other is a consumer spherical camera called the Yi 360 VR.

    The Yi Halo is a $16,999 17-camera monster capable of shooting stereoscopic video in 8K resolution at 30 frames per second, or 5.8K at 60 frames per second. It was built to work with Jump, which is a high-end VR creation platform that Google launched in 2015. The core idea of Jump is to encourage VR filmmaking by removing some of the biggest barriers. Google provides general blueprints for the ringed camera rig as well as server space for stitching all the high-resolution imagery together, and then gets to kick back while hardware companies and filmmakers create content to fill its budding Daydream VR platform.

    Yi is just the second company to build a rig for the platform — GoPro released the 16-camera Odyssey last year. (IMAX is also working on a Jump-compatible camera setup, and Facebook has its own $25,000 and up solution in the Surround 360 rig.) The company is using modified versions of its 4K action camera to make up the Halo. And while it tops out at the same 8K resolution as the GoPro Odyssey, the ability to shoot 5.8K at 60 frames per second is unique.

    The $399 Yi 360 VR is another example of this overarching strategy. It can capture 360-degree video at 30 frames per second in 5.7K resolution, slightly edging out the 5.2K resolution of Fusion, the spherical camera GoPro announced last week. (That’s also higher resolution than other leading consumer 360-degree cameras like the Nikon KeyMission 360 or the Samsung Gear 360.)

    Reply
  36. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Google Has A New VR Camera And A ‘Roadmap’ For Answering Facebook
    https://uploadvr.com/googles-new-vr-camera-given-away-free-creators/

    Reply
  37. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Janko Roettgers / Variety:
    Facebook says it is closing Oculus VR film studio, canceling all on-going projects, will invest in VR content produced by outside partners — Oculus Story Studio, the award-winning studio behind virtual reality (VR) short films like “Dear Angelica” and “Henry,” is being shut down, Facebook announced Thursday afternoon.

    Facebook Is Shutting Down Its Award-Winning Oculus Story Studio
    http://variety.com/2017/digital/news/oculus-story-studio-shutting-down-1202409809/

    UPDATED: Oculus Story Studio, the award-winning studio behind virtual reality (VR) short films like “Dear Angelica” and “Henry,” is being shut down, Facebook announced Thursday afternoon. The studio’s 50 staffers are encouraged to apply for new jobs within Oculus, but all ongoing projects of the studio are being cancelled.

    Reply
  38. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Jeff Grubb / VentureBeat:
    Nvidia debuts VRWorks Audio SDK for immersive 3D sound and VRWorks 360 Video SDK for stitching up to eight 4K cameras into 360-degree video

    Nvidia launches new SDKs to make VR development simpler
    https://venturebeat.com/2017/05/08/nvidia-launches-new-sdks-to-make-vr-development-simpler/

    Nvidia is expanding the capabilities of its VRworks toolkit to streamline the development process.

    The tech company revealed its new VRWorks audio and 360-degree video software development kits today. As part of the company’s presence at the GPU Technology Conference in San Jose, Nvidia showed off how the VRWorks Audio SDK can do real-time calculations for audio positioning in a 3D virtual environment. Nvidia also launched a VRWorks Audio plugin for Epic Games’ popular Unreal Engine 4 toolkit. Additionally, Nvidia announced that its VRWorks 360 Video SDK can stitch together eight 4K cameras instantly into a stereo 360-degree stream.

    For the audio tech, this enables realistic sound in 3D spaces. As you walk around an environment, sounds will take on different characteristics based on the surrounding objects. Nvidia also points out that its VRWorks Audio SDK builds the acoustic model of a polygonal space instantly without needing any extra information.

    “The fact that NVIDIA manages to stitch 4K 360 stereoscopic video in real time, making livestreaming possible, changes the production pipeline and enables entirely new use cases in VR,” Z Cam chief executive Kinson Loo said.

    Loo’s Z Cam makes a 360-video camera rig that can now use Nvidia’s tech to get instant results from a shoot instead of having to wait for a rig to render the results.

    Reply
  39. Tomi Engdahl says:

    VR and Back Again: An XRobots Tale
    http://hackaday.com/2017/05/14/vr-and-back-again-an-xrobots-tale/

    Our friend [James Bruton] from XRobots has engaged in another bit of mixed-reality magic by showing how one can seamlessly step from the virtual world into the real world, and back again. Begone, green screens and cumbersome lighting!

    Now, most of what you’re seeing is really happening in post-production — for now — but the test footage is the precursor for a more integrated system down the road. As it works now, a GoPro is attached to the front of a HTC Vive headset, allowing [Bruton] to record in both realities at the same time. In the VR test area he has set up is a portal to a virtual green room — only a little smaller than a wardrobe — allowing him to superimpose the GoPro footage over everything he looks at through that doorway

    Mixed Reality Filming WITHOUT a Green Screen | XRobots
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mm9M7oIPHbI

    Reply
  40. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Paul Sawers / VentureBeat:
    Samsung’s new Gear 360 camera goes on sale in the US on May 25 for $229, available in-store and online

    Samsung’s new Gear 360 camera costs $229 and goes on sale in the U.S. on May 25
    https://venturebeat.com/2017/05/24/samsungs-new-gear-360-camera-costs-229-and-goes-on-sale-in-the-u-s-on-may-25/

    Samsung has finally confirmed pricing and U.S. availability for its refreshed Gear 360 camera.

    Reply
  41. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Cheap 360 Degree Camera
    http://hackaday.com/2016/10/09/cheap-360-degree-camera/

    How much would you pay for a 360 degree camera? How about $15 if you already have a Raspberry Pi and a Pi camera hanging around? If you don’t, you’ll have to add that minimal cost into the build. [Gigafide] noticed how a spherical mirror, made to see around corners, showed an all-around view if you took a picture of it from below. He snagged a panoramic lens made for an iPhone and stripped it for its optics. Some custom software and a little work resulted in a usable 360 degree camera.

    SimpleCV (a light version of OpenCV) provides the algorithms to unwrap the frames and you can take video with the setup (see the video below). Mounting the optics took some 3D printing and the Pi operates as a hot spot to send the video out.

    Uber Cheap 360 Video Camera
    http://www.instructables.com/id/Uber-Cheap-360-Video-Camera/

    Reply
  42. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Shoot Video in 26 Different Directions
    http://hackaday.com/2017/05/31/shoot-video-in-26-different-directions/

    [Mark Mullins] is working on a project called Quamera: a camera that takes video in every direction simultaneously, creating realtime 3D environments on the fly.

    [Mark] is using 26 Arducams, arranging them in a rhombicuboctahedron configuration, which consists of three rings of 8 cameras with each ring controlled by a Beaglebone; the top and bottom rings are angled at 45 degrees, while the center ring looks straight out. The top and bottom cameras are controlled by a fourth Beaglebone, which also serves to communicate with the Nvidia Jetson TX1 that runs everything. Together, these cameras can see in all directions at once, with enough overlap for provide a seamless display for viewers.

    Quamera
    An omnidirectional camera and software that can automatically create live 3D environments
    https://hackaday.io/project/21966-quamera

    26 cameras, 4 Beaglebones, 1 nvidia Jetson, device trees,C++,OpenCV,Python,Tensorflow,Keras

    The system uses cameras supplied from Arducam and a custom 3D printed enclosure. The full rig has 26 cameras arranged in a Rhombicuboctahedron. where the cameras are grouped into 3 banks of 8 cameras, where each bank is controlled by a Beaglebone Black.

    Reply
  43. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Essential’s miniature 360 camera attaches to its new phone
    https://www.theverge.com/2017/5/30/15711254/essential-360-camera-features-pricing

    Andy Rubin, the man who created Android, has unveiled his Essential Phone today. One of the key new aspects of the Android-powered smartphone is a new modular system designed for additional accessories. Essential’s first accessory is a tiny 360 camera that clips to the rear of the Essential Phone. It’s less than 35 grams in weight, and includes dual 12-megapixel fisheye sensors that can capture 4K 360 video at 30fps.

    There’s even four microphones for audio capture, and two accessory power pins help keep the camera powered while it’s clipped into the rear of the Essential Phone. Essential is really betting on its 360 camera as a differentiator to the usual Android phones on the market, and the company’s head of optics and imaging, Xiaoyu Miao, believes 360 “changes everything.” In a blog post on the new 360 camera, Miao explains why he thinks the industry has major issues with 360 cameras. “The cameras are bulky and expensive, especially if you want a good one,” explains Miao. “The user experience and workflow for taking a picture and uploading it to your social network is cumbersome.”

    Reply
  44. Tomi Engdahl says:

    360 video — the benefits and success stories
    http://okimoclinic.com/2017/06/09/360-video-the-benefits-and-success-stories/

    The emergence of 360 videos offers a new, innovative way to present your business.

    The special cameras used to record this content capture views in every possible direction. This allows users to take control of the video’s focus by simply moving their head while wearing a virtual reality headset or clicking and dragging to adjust the range of vision on a computer screen. Facebook and YouTube have become leaders in this new technology through their early support of 360 videos.

    The 360 video viewers were motivated to watch more and interact — the 360 video had a lower retention rate than the standard ad, but had a higher click-through rate.

    The 360 video drove viewers to share, subscribe and view other clips — the 360 video drove 41% more earned actions than the traditional video. People also eagerly shared the 360 version of the video with their friends.

    Still, the 360 video did not overperform in traditional viewer metrics — the 360 ad’s view-through rate was lower compared to the standard clip’s view-through rate.

    Google concluded that the 360 video was more liked by viewers and more enthusiastically shared. Furthermore, this ad could also be a more efficient buy, because of its lower cost-per-view.

    Reply
  45. Tomi Engdahl says:

    360 video — the benefits and success stories
    http://okimoclinic.com/2017/06/09/360-video-the-benefits-and-success-stories/

    The most creative and memorable video content can be talked about for years to come. The emergence of 360 videos offers a new, innovative way to present your business.

    Reply
  46. Tomi Engdahl says:

    IP Networks Reimagined 360 livestream
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HTW7SZ6WwRc

    Get a front row seat at the IP Networks Reimagined livestream event with Rajeev Suri, CEO of Nokia, and Basil Alwan, President, IP/Optical Networks Business Group, as they share Nokia’s vision and strategy on the evolution of IP networks. Don’t miss out on this exciting opportunity to be among the first to see the unveiling of new innovations from Nokia, livestreamed in 360° video with Nokia OZO.

    Reply

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