Virtual Reality

GoPro Announces Release Window For 360 Rig & Quadcopter

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GoPro Announces Release Window For 360 Rig & Quadcopter

Nick Woodman has announced at this year’s Code Conference, that GoPro will be launching their own 360 spherical camera rig, as well as an official GoPro quadcopter. Nick also talks about GoPro’s plans to make the unit “smaller, more efficient and at lower cost.” The rig is said to be a 6 camera spherical array that will use x6 Hero 4 cameras, combined in a mounted assembly, and can be mounted in any way you would mount a GoPro. The initial aim, it seems, is to aid consumers interested in capturing 360 footage. GoPro is already widely used by professionals or “Prosumers”, so he believes they will be more inclined to buy the product first. Although, it is stated that GoPro do plan to develop and release it as a consumer item. The unit will be “the price of the GoPro’s, plus the cost of the mounting rig.” This will probably put it somewhere in realms of $4,000, or that kind of ball park figure. One would imagine that they will price it competitively in accordance to the rest of the market. The release window for the rig is the second half of 2015. Meaning, it should be available just before the final rush for content. 

Apparently they have been pondering on the idea for a few years, having already worked on other stereoscopic projects such as the Dual Hero System, that allows you to capture stereoscopic footage, and other arrays of up to 50 cameras. Nick talks about when Facebook announced the oculus rift purchase, and how it got the team at GoPro excited, but they realised that “for Virtual Reality to be appealing to non gamers, its going to need, video and image content.” This is a poignant notion, as it may ended up ringing true. The development of this rig will certainly have some influence on the market no doubt. They have displayed a working development model, and there is also a sample video, recorded on the rig, that is discussed in the interview. 

It is also an official announcement that GoPro are making a their own quadcopter. According to information cited in this interview, the market is being driven by similar growth to go pro, meaning that the content generated with the devices is influencing viral growth, and an increase in sales. Nick Woodman says that “we recognise it as being like the early days of go pro”. The drone comes out in the first half of next year, Nick goes on to explain that although the product is designed for professionals, and pro applications, it will be released as a consumer product. 

We are starting to see an increase in interest of 360 spherical video content on Youtube. A recent collaboration, between the video streaming giant, and Paramount pictures, seems to have generated a lot of new ‘VR Fans’ on Youtube. The video is a 360 spherical action scene that allows the user to see things through the eyes of the terminator, its interesting because, after spending a few minutes digesting the comments on the video page. it seems apparent that a lot of them are enquiring as to how the footage was made, or what it is all about. Content like this may crucial to the development , and future of VR. As it will allow the market to grow beyond just that of the gaming sector.  


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