GoPro and Google’s Odyssey VR Rig is Now Shipping
The GoPro Odyssey, a high end virtual reality camera which was unveiled more than a year ago is finally available for consumers. Companies that participated in the beta program of the VR rig have their wishes granted now as they would start receiving the first batch of GoPro Odyssey that was shipped out. Some of these companies include WEVR, VRSE, Theory, Surreal, Specular and Two Bit Circus.
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Aficionados of the VR industry would know that the Odyssey is more than a regular camera. The Rig which is shaped like a UFO contains 16 cameras which are joined in a circle to shoot 3D videos up to 8K resolutions at 30 frames per seconds. The camera has a diameter of 11.6 inches, height of 2.6 inches and weight of 14.5 pounds. The GoPro Odyssey costs $15,000 and consists of GoPro Hero 4 Black cameras which alone costs $8000. The remaining $7000 offers one microphone, pelican case, the rig structure, 16 microSD cards, some cables and access to Google servers alongside a warranty.
That’s a good deal compared with the prices of other industrial virtual reality cameras. It is a good deal for those working in Hollywood such as filmmakers and content developers working with virtual reality technologies. For example, the Nokia Ozo which is in the same category as the GoPro Odyssey costs $60,000. And to even top that GoPro also offers a cheaper version of the Odyssey at a cost price of $5000. This comes with six cameras and is targeted at homemade or semipro productions.
In years past, Filmmakers had to pay outsiders to shoot engrossing 360-degree content or to build their own solutions from scratch. But all these would change with the release of the GoPro. The partnership with Google for the Odyssey gives GoPro an edge over its competitors as the rig connects to Google’s servers for automatic stitching and processing of the VR footage. The GoPro Odyssey was announced as part of the Google Jump ecosystem for VR content. Currently, the GoPro Odyssey is the only device in the market that can access the Google Jump platform.
The GoPro Odyssey was announced at Google’s Developers Conference in September 2015 and was planned to be release in November 2015. However, numerous delays saw the actual release pushed forwards to this year. The company said that those delays were caused by the fact that they were waiting for the Oculus Rift and other virtual reality headsets to be unveiled first so as to have a better knowledge of the market. GoPro is still accepting applications for the new Odyssey but prospective companies have to wait for some time as the headset is only shipped in batches.
The release of the Odyssey would be a sure boost to the stock prices of GoPro which were trading at $58.81 when the headset was announced last year and are now trading at $12.10. It is very good that the GoPro Odyssey is being launched now and not just extended to a period after the upcoming Google I/O Developer’s Conference.