Nearly a year ago, Yi Technology announced development of a 360-degree VR camera rig using Google's Jump platform. Today, at the NAB show in Las Vegas, the imaging company showed off the results: the Halo VR camera.
Halo isn't just one camera, but 17 of them. Using the company's 4K action cams, the array literally one-ups GoPro's 16-camera Odyssey Jump rig by adding a camera that's pointed straight up for capturing seamless immersive sky shots. Despite all the cameras and a removable battery good for 100 minutes of continuous recording, the whole thing weighs in at only 7.5 pounds (3.4 kg).
Built into the Halo is a real-time monitoring system, so something like a low battery level or full microSD card doesn't ruin your recordings. Also, should one of the cameras get damaged, it can quickly be swapped out for a new one and synced with the other cameras. The system can push firmware updates simultaneously to all 17 cameras with one click, too, and all settings can be controlled wirelessly with an Android device, which will also give you a live preview.
For Google's part, the Jump Assembler takes the video from all of the cameras and seamlessly stitches them together in a few hours. After stitching, the stereoscopic video resolution can be as high as 8,192x8,192 at 30 or 25fps. But if faster frame rates are needed, resolution can be dropped to 5.8K (5,760x5,760 pixels) at 60fps.
No pricing was announced, but Yi and Google expect it to be available this summer. Also, over the next year Google will give free access to a Jump camera and unlimited use of the Jump Assembler to more than 100 select filmmakers through a new Jump Start program. Starting today, you'll have until May 22 to apply.