Connecting through VR is an amazing, immersive experience and many more people are getting a chance to experience it in the future with the help of newly built VR devices. The newest kid on the block is Facebook’s 360-degree VR camera.
What is so Special in Facebook Surround 360?
This summer, Facebook unveiled a reference design for high-end video capture system and announced plans to release it as an open-source project on GitHub. By inventing its own virtual reality camera from scratch, Facebook revealed the “Surround 360”, a 17-lens 3D 360-degree VR camera that looks like a UFO and requires almost nil post-production work, unlike most VR. It uses a 17-camera array and accompanying web-based software to capture images in 360 degrees and renders them automatically. At its annual F8 developer conference the company was very keen on banking video as the central medium that will power the future of its social network.
Facebook is pushing things in a new direction by adding three fish-eye lenses to the top and bottom of the Surround 360, a means of producing those truly spherical images. This will eventually reduce the time needed to prepare a video for public distribution.
Because the device is open source, designers can transform the VR camera system into a consumer device. The camera is part of the customizable parts and therefore they can be found everywhere.
Valuable Features Facebook’s 360-degree VR Camera
- This 360-degree VR camera use the global shutter instead of a rolling one, with the resulting footage displaying artifacts from closing of individual shutters.
- Thanks to its integrated hardware and software designed by the company itself, all the components work in harmony giving a huge fillip to the device to run for many hours without overheating.
- And eventually it can export video in resolutions up to 8K. The camera’s software automatically stitches the footage from the 17 cameras in quick time. This device can be viewed on Gear VR, Oculus, and inside the Facebook app, among other places.
- Its aluminum casing can be quickly assembled and disassembled and is able to survive tough conditions like the desert. A rugged aluminum chassis ensures that images are stable and well aligned. It is installed with a unique feature of genlocking to connect all the lenses, with which the software can do less work so footage is ready for distribution.
- The software will stitch together the video in 4K, 6K and 8K for each individual eye for stereoscopic playback.
What is so Exciting?
Drawing images from all 17 of those lenses, it produces 360-degree spherical video for viewing both inside virtual reality headsets like the Samsung Gear.
Launch Date and Availability
Facebook won’t be selling the Surround 360 VR camera system. Instead, later this summer it will launch the hardware design and video stitching algorithms on GitHub. These components can be bought online for $30,000.
Others will not only manufacture and sell the device but modify it in myriad ways—produce entirely new types of cameras from the basic design that weaves the camera’s images into one complete three-dimensional landscape.
These video camera is a bridge to the kind of full-fledged virtual reality of the future. Facebook plans on offering and will eventually foster a new breed of communication and entertainment system on top of its burgeoning social network. And in the near future, it would begin freely sharing all sorts of devices it has designed to improve and expand Internet access across the globe, including wireless antennas and even drones that can deliver broadband from the stratosphere. With its grand features and outsourcing amendments, Facebook 360 dramatically reduces the post-production time therefore delivering the best commercial VR camera that was ever created.