Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) has designed a 360-degree camera to capture 3D images. The new camera resembles a flying saucer. It has been named as Facebook Surround 360.
It has 14 wide-angle cameras around the sides, two cameras on the bottom and a fish eye camera at the top. Facebook has pegged it at $30,000 price tag though the company plans to make the camera designs public come summer on the coding repository service Github. Facebook hopes by making it public it will encourage developers to come up with lower-cost cameras.
Facebook unveiled the camera at the company’s annual developer conference in San Francisco, where it also announced that it is creating software that will allow the multiple cameras to view in VR. Facebook is confident that virtual reality and 360-degree will become mainstream, and that’s the reason it is heavily investing in them. The company spent $2 billion in the acquisition of Oculus.
The new camera is a supplement to the company’s VR efforts since by use of it there will be enough VR content to justify the investment. A greater public adoption of high-quality cameras’ possibly created by third parties at lower prices would translate to immersive footage that would give people perfect reasons to buy Facebook’s Oculus Rift Virtual Reality headset.
Facebook chief product officer Chris Cox noted that the company set out to create the perfect 360 cameras. The primary goal of this endeavor was to create a camera that can capture immersive video that will need minimal post processing for high-quality images.
Facebook has joined a market filled with many producers for capturing 360-degree videos. A lot of startups and tech giant announced their solution for capturing this kind of content. Alphabet Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL) and GoPro Inc (NASDAQ:GPRO) introduced Odessey, a 16-camera rig designed for making 360-degree videos at a price tag of $15,000.
In 2014, Samsung Electronics announced project Beyond that is a professional-grade camera. Startups like Jaunt and Lytro are focused on designing relevant hardware and software tools for professionals to make VR content.
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