LAS VEGAS--Capturing 3D video requires two lenses; that's how the human head does it and how 3D cameras do it. GoPro, maker of the HD Hero series of outdoor action cameras, has added the capability to capture 3D video to its bag of tricks by simply slapping a pair of its 2D cameras together.
OK, so it's not as simple as I'm making it sound, but at its core, the 3D Hero case is the high-tech equivalent of duct taping a pair of cameras together and hitting play at the same time. However, there's a bit more to it.
The case maintains GoPro's waterproof, shock-resistant design, but also includes the 3D Hero link cable. This connection joins the two HD Hero cameras by their BUS connections and allows one camera to take full control of the second, automatically syncing video capture and settings with the touch of a button.
Users can then use GoPro's 3D conversion software to import video from the first camera and have the second camera's video automatically imported and blended to create a file for viewing on a 3D display. GoPro tells us that the software will have a basic automatic setting, as well as advanced options for users who want to tweak the 3D effect for maximum drama.
The 3D Hero case and link cable will be available in February 2011 at an MSRP of $99. If you don't already have an extra HD Hero camera lying around, you'll need to pick one or two of those up too for about $259 each. We'll do the math for you; that's about $358 to convert your current HD Hero setup to 3D or $617 to start from scratch.
Additionally, GoPro announced February availability of an LCD BacPac for HD Hero cameras that takes advantage of the same BUS connection as the 3D Hero to add live viewing for framing shots and playback of videos stored on the device and an Endurance Battery BacPac that doubles the battery life. GoPro's representatives wouldn't confirm any other BacPac units in the pipeline, but if we had to place a bet, we'd expect to see some sort of GPS, Bluetooth, and Wi-Fi expansions in the future.