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.
Successful kickstarter projects may be a rarity. But it would seem that the Pimax 8K VR headset is one project that is bucking the trend could offer real competition and innovation to boot.
The old adage “underpromise and overdeliver” doesn’t often apply to the tech industry, where impressive-sounding specs often outshine actual performance in headlines and companies raise millions in Kickstarter campaigns that don’t come to fruition.
But, every once in a while, an absurd sounding promise from an unknown manufacturer actually seems to pan out. Enter the Pimax 8K VR headset.
The new Pimax 8K headset makes a lot of promises. Among them, the headset promises to eliminate the screen door effect of existing headsets while nearly doubling the user’s field of view and reducing motion sickness.
On September 19, Pimax launched a Kickstarter campaign with a goal of $200,000, which it was able to reach within the campaign’s first few hours. At the time of this post, the campaign had raised more than $1.7 million from around 2,700 backers.
Although that’s certainly impressive, what’s more impressive is that, since CES 2017, Pimax has been showing off and shipping out its 8K headset to reviewers and what we’re hearing back is overwhelmingly positive: the Pimax 8K HMD truly feels like a next-gen headset.
Its first demonstration short will be presented this week at the On the Lot confab.
Lytro, the Silicon Valley-based company that’s developing light-field based technology for Hollywood, is launching a new tool for the animation community to use to create virtual reality and other immersive experiences.
Describing it as a “virtual version of our physical cameras,” Lytro Cinema general manager Buzz Hays said the new Lytro Volume Tracer is light-field technology-based software designed to help animators get a quality level and realism closer to that of high-end animated features, but with near real-time rendering, bringing it more in line with the capabilities offered in a game engine.
In a surprising statement, Nokia has halted development of the Ozo VR camera, laying off 310 employees, due to slower than expected development of the VR market.
Translation, “Sales are way down, mainly due to competitive pressure and the high price of the Ozo.”
Here’s the official word:
“In digital media, the slower-than-expected development of the VR market means that Nokia Technologies plans to reduce investments and focus more on technology licensing opportunities. The unit aims to halt development of further versions of the OZO VR camera and hardware, while maintaining commitments to existing customers.
The potential reductions are expected to affect up to 310 of the roughly 1090 employees in Nokia Technologies, mainly in Finland, the US and the UK. To start the process, Nokia today has invited employee representatives of Nokia Technologies in Finland to cooperation negotiations.
“Nokia Technologies is at a point where, with the right focus and investments, we can meaningfully grow our footprint in the digital health market, and we must seize that opportunity,” said Gregory Lee, president of Nokia Technologies. “While necessary, the changes will also affect our employees, and as a responsible company we are committed to providing the needed support to those affected.”
Pimax, the China-based VR headset manufacturer known for their 4K headset, have recently hit Kickstarter with their newest devices, the Pimax 8K and 5K VR headsets. Surpassing their initial goal of $200,000 within the first few hours, Pimax went on to gather a staggering $1 million in funding after only 5 days on the crowdfunding platform.
Despite the namesake, Pimax headsets aren’t actually 8K or 5K resolution, as they respectively feature dual 3840×2160 LCD panels and dual 2560×1440 OLED panels. These display resolutions are however higher than your standard Oculus Rift or HTC Vive, which is where some of the fanfare is coming from.
Arguably the biggest attraction is the headsets’ 200 degree field of view (FOV), which proved to be both impressive and helpful for peripheral awareness in our hands-on with an early prototype.
Today VR startup Dreamscape Immersive announced via TechCrunch that they’d secured a Series B funding round of $20 million, led by AMC. The company previously gained funding from the likes of Steven Spielberg, Warner Bros., MGM, IMAX, and 21st Century Fox.
Most people that take the time and energy to really try VR and give it a chance see the potential, but getting headsets onto the faces of users is the biggest hurdle still. VR devices are bulky, expensive, and hard to come by, but millions of people go to the movies, even if that industry is struggling.
While virtual reality is not quite taking over the living room just yet, the experience is quickly finding its place in arcades and theme parks. With this in mind, Sensics is finally releasing its VR headset for public venues. The design of these goggles reportedly brings a more hygienic and comfortable experience while also sporting a higher resolution than consumer headsets.
Sensics, co-founder of Razer’s Open Source Virtual Reality, had certain features in mind in order to differentiate their public headsets from the consumer-grade HDK 2. First and foremost is hygiene. In a public setting, headsets come into contact with a lot of different faces. Not only does Sensics include a machine-washable, hypoallergenic face mask, it also is designed to physically separate from the display. This allows attendees to strap in and get comfortable before clipping into the display portion. This cuts down on time spent cleaning the headset between uses since the display attaches to each individual strap. Then, as the attendee enjoys the virtual world, the used straps can be properly sanitized. No longer will users have to don a wet headset after a particularly sweaty round.