Startup Live Planet plans to deliver its first cameras in December as part of an end-to-end stereoscopic 360-degree video platform aimed at making it easier for creators to stream live high-quality content.
Live Planet is led by serial entrepreneur Halsey Minor, who largely self-funded this company after a long track record at the start of businesses like CNET, Salesforce and GrandCentral (which later became Google Voice). With 360-degree video, he’s intimately aware of the failures of other products on the market, including Nokia’s OZO, and aims to succeed through a combination of high-quality hardware and easy-to-use software.
SHENZHEN, China, Oct. 23, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — Kandao Technology, a Shenzhen-based leading VR camera manufacturer and solution provider, announced today that its flagship Obsidian 3D VR camera has been selected as a winner as the German Design Award 2018 in the Excellent Product Design category.
The German Design Award is one of the most prestigious design competitions in the world. Every year, only a select few products who are already recognized worldwide with high design and quality standard are eligible for nomination by the German Design Council. The “winner” title is an award of excellence bestowed only on entries chosen by the jury from within each category.
From over 5,000 entries among various international participants, a judging panel of experts chose the Kandao Obsidian 3D VR camera as this year’s winner in the Excellent Product Design category. The panel described Obsidian as “surprisingly user-friendly” as users can operate it purely by instinct no matter how complicated the hardware and software inside are, it is truly a camera designed for VR content creators. This achievement marked Kandao Obsidian’s first nomination in this award. It is also the second international award received by Obsidian, following a previous award of “Best of Innovation Honoree” at CES 2017.
The Obsidian 3D VR camera was developed to enable innovative storytellers to create high-quality stereoscopic 360-degree videos for immersive virtual reality experience. It comes equipped with a deep learning based post-production software solution for stitching and depth map generation and offers up to 8K resolution 3D spherical videos, still image capturing capability and the addition of 3D 4K VR live streaming functionality.
With the product and technology, Kandao Technology makes every effort to explore new ways to apply VR in various industries, for example, VR in education, travel, live events, and the furniture, wedding, and real estate industries, to change the way how people feel and connect to the world.
Now, the Obsidian 3D VR camera is available for purchase worldwide at an official price of $6999.
Samsung already has a virtual reality camera in the form of the Gear 360, but it’s not really for pros — it’s for everyday users who want to record a 360-degree video on the street. What if you’re a pro, or a well-heeled enthusiast? Samsung has you covered: it’s launching the previously hinted-at 360 Round. The disc-shaped device carries a whopping 17 2-megapixel cameras and six microphones (plus two mic ports) to create 3D (that is, stereoscopic) VR video. It’s powerful enough to livestream 4K VR at a smooth 30 frames per second, helped in part by software that promises to stitch together immersive video with virtually no lag.
Detu has launched a new VR camera. It is being called a professional VR camera and shoots 8K resolution for stills and video. Although I have yet to see any video samples the stills look good with the exception of some badly burned out highlights. The unit is priced at $2599. That pricing is about a grand less than the Insta360 Pro VR camera which also shoots 8k and 6K 3D as well. The Detu F4 Plus does not to 3D.
PlayStation VR may be the least expensive way to enter the world of virtual reality, but it still isn’t cheap. Previously, the headset sold for $400 in addition to the mandatory PlayStation Camera for an additional $60, but that changes this week with the newest PlayStation VR bundle.
Starting on September 1, the PlayStation VR’s standard bundle will come with a PlayStation Camera for $400, effectively giving customers a $60 discount. Sony says that this will be the “core” PlayStation VR bundle moving forward, so if you already own the camera but haven’t picked up the headset yet, you might want to act quickly.
In addition to the $400 option, those looking to also pick up a game with PlayStation VR can check out the $450 PlayStation VR Worlds bundle — previously called the “launch bundle” at most retailers. The package contains everything from the standard bundle and adds two PlayStation Move controllers and the PlayStation VR Worlds game. Coming with several different mini-games, including The London Heist, Danger Ball, and the enthralling Ocean Descent, it’s a great way to get introduced to VR technology, though not all of the games are created equal. VR Luge is a pretty mediocre racing game, and Scavengers Odyssey is all but guaranteed to make you queasy.
At the beginning of last month, cinematic camera manufacturer RED announced that its very first smartphone, the RED Hydrogen One, was in production. In this 6-minute video, tech reviewer Marques Brownlee takes a look at a couple of prototypes of the new RED smartphone which the company sent him exclusively to check out.
One prototype showed the phone at the final size they hope for, and the other shows more parts of it actually working but is larger in size. The aesthetics are unique: it has grips on the edges, giving it a “rugged look”, which is great if you find you’re constantly dropping your phone.
You can probably already guess that the Kandao Obsidian isn’t intended for the consumer market but it is still an interesting piece of camera technology. Both the Kandao Obsidian R and Obsidian S are comprised of 6 fish-eye synced lenses that can capture high-quality stereoscopic and spherical videos/photos and time-lapses, supporting three recording modes (flat, standard, and log), and DNG format for photos.
The Obsidian R features 8K (7,680 x 7,680) high-resolution recording at 30 fps, the Obsidian S is optimized for high frame rate shooting, producing up to 120 fps footage in 4K resolution, as well as 6K x 6K resolution at 30 or 50 fps, which is ideal for the high-end professionals who need high speed VR content, like motion or sports. Both cameras are Wi-Fi enabled through one Ethernet cable for fast connectivity to mobile devices or laptops, making remote control a much easier for professional directors.
The Kandao Obsidian cameras also offer up a software solution that can do post-processing, editing, stitching, video encoding, and live streaming. The stitching process of Kandao Studio is built on optical flow code and optimized by a deep learning algorithm to generate seamless and natural stereoscopic 360 panoramas automatically, capturing depth information from images as well.
Preproduction models of the GoPro Fusion have begun shipping to content creators signed up for the pilot program. A dual-lens, 360-degree camera, the Fusion is GoPro’s first all-in-one immersive video camera (the company previously offered only the six-camera Omni rig for virtual reality production). Details are still thin on the Fusion’s full specifications, but we have a good idea of what the final model will look like and know that it records 5.2K resolution at 30 frames per second.