It seems that GoPro is now finally joining the Virtual Reality market after they’ve announced a 16 camera array that can capture 360 degree spherical and stereoscopic videos. However, this early model is currently too big to be used on your head.
The device is meant to be mounted on a tripod, so it’s not actually an “action camera” device. As for the price, it’s still unknown, but we’re pretty sure that it will be officially announced sometime soon.
The device comes with integrated software from Kolor, which is the virtual reality company that GoPro bought last month. GoPro announced their future camera during the Google’s developer conference on Thursday, May 28, 2015.
The head of GoPro’s software and services division, C.J. Prober, said that what people still don’t know is that GoPro already has the facto capture device for capturing virtual reality content. Prober added that the GoPro cameras were not designed for virtual reality capture purposes, but the quality and the content they come with just made them a “natural choice”.
It seems that many people have used these devices to record footages for virtual reality, but that the cameras tend to overheat, they use the battery very fast and have synchronization issues.
However, the GoPro rig will fix all these issues, by allowing the users to control all the 16 cameras using one master camera, which will provide automated synchronization and stitching via built-in software. This will also fix the battery life issues by using an external battery source.
GoPro also introduced a ball shaped rig that supports only 6 cameras that can be mounted on a quad-copter drone. In addition, the flying device supports one extra GoPro camera that can be mounted on the bottom side. However, this device will be released sometime in 2016.
GoPro will make a partnership with Google in order to make use of its multi-camera, 360 degree rigs available by selecting YouTube content creators so that they can make videos for Google’s new platform that supports 360degree videos on YouTube.
According to Prober, the company is planning to bring spherical and photo capture to more users, probably coming with a smaller and more accessible rig. We’re pretty sure that this move will make the GoPro cameras even more popular than before and once again, they will get some great revenues in the following years.