360-Degree Videos Will Soon Take Over the World
Immersive 360-degree videos are the rage now. These videos have been shot with special circular camera arrays that record the entire panoramic view from a particular fixed point. Viewers can click and drag to adjust the viewpoint and view the object from as many angles as they desire as the video plays back.
360fly, a Pittsburgh-based company, launched the a spherical camera with a single lens at CES 2014, the 360fly. The 360fly camera provides the viewer with a sharper 360-degree, stitchless, high-resolution 4K version with a subtle hint at virtual reality.
It’s worth noting, however, that these 360-degree videos are not part of virtual reality regardless of the close relationship between the two. Viewing 360-degree videos through a virtual reality headset will make you feel you are in an alternate reality, but the video seems to lack depth and realism to make it as believable. In other words, it is lower tech than full-on virtual reality, albeit still an immersive technology that everyone can appreciate.
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More on the 360fly Camera
The 360fly camera is packed with notable features that will help you produce stunning 360-degree videos and get the best out of your 360 camera rig. Smartphones are being created now to support HD 360-degree video playback. The 360fly camera does cone with some attractive features of its own. With it, you can can also take traditional 2-D photos and videos at 16:9 aspect ratio and 2560 x 1440 pixel resolution.
The camera is water resistant (for depths not below 10 meters) and the internal memory for storing recorded videos has doubled from 32GB to 64GB. It offers 1.5 hours of continuous recording for absolute viewing experience. The 4K camera upgraded their resolution to 2880 x 2880 pixels at 30fbs and the camera has new sensors, an e-compass, GPS, and gyroscope. You can track altitude and speed and overlay this on to video. The camera is absolutely breathtaking.
The Big Names Behind the Development of 360-Degree Videos
The company behind the 360fly camera isn’t the only one jumping into the 360-degree videos craze. Google is also one of the ardent promoters of the project and have developed its own jump camera solution that consists of 16 camera modules arranged in a circular array. Facebook is also venturing into creating its own 360-degree camera and adopting a new video technology while offering a new unique perspective on the world.
Despite all the advancements that have been made, the technology still has a long way to go to be compelling. But the wonderful thing is, you don’t need expensive gears like camera systems to create 360-degree videos. These clips work in three ways: capture, stitch, and playback.
Capture is using multiple cameras, with overlapping fields of view to record an entire 360 x 180 degrees field. Stitching is turning the individual videos into a single, high-resolution, and seamless panoramic video. Play is remapping the 360-degree video that is delivered as regular video file or stream to show only the entire field of view the user is looking at.
The examples of cameras that can be used to capture each view and blend them into a 360-degree panorama include the Samsung Gear VR camera, LG 360 cam, Picoh Theta, and a couple of others that are doing pretty well on the marketplace.
Livit is a streaming app that can live-stream 360-degree videos, but because it is achieved over 4G networks via phone, the resolution that you’d get is limited.
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