GoPro Goes ‘Spherical’ With Virtual-Reality Initiative

Filed under: News  Technology 

The action-camera giant jumped into the virtual-reality space this week with the acquisition of French company Kolor.

Called a “spherical media company,” Kolor makes software to combine multiple photographs or videos to produce panoramic and spherical content for viewing in an immersive virtual-reality display.

GoPro-spherical-camera-mount
Spherical mount captures 360-degree footage

Footage is captured with multiple GoPro cameras aimed in a 360-degree array. The company sells a mount for spherical capture on its professional products page.

GoPro released a video to demonstrate the effect, called “Land, Air and Sea,” which you can watch below. It allows a viewer to interact with the screen — click and drag the video to reveal a 360-degree world.

I tried it on a Chrome browser. The video loads like any other YouTube content, but once the film begins you can click anywhere on the screen and pull other perspectives into view.

(Related: “Virtual Reality: Coming To Outdoor Retail In 2015”)

Grab the screen in “Land, Air and Sea” and you can toggle over to reveal a dolphin swimming ahead of a boat. On a paragliding scene, grab and move the screen to look straight down.

 

This option only works in the Google Chrome browser now for desktop. For mobile viewing, you can download the Kolor Eyes 360° video player app (for iPhone or Android).

Beyond traditional display, the GoPro/Kolor footage can be viewed on virtual-reality headsets, including Google Cardboard. (GoPro will soon offer the 360 footage for other platforms, including Oculus VR and Samsung Gear VR.)

Check out the “Land, Air and Sea” video to dive into what might be a peek at the future of action-cam footage. GoPro is not holding back, calling spherical capture “a technology poised to transform entertainment, education and other industries.”

By
Stephen Regenold is Founder of GearJunkie, which he launched as a nationally-syndicated newspaper column in 2002. As a journalist and writer, Regenold has covered the outdoors industry for two decades, including as a correspondent for the New York Times. A father of five, Regenold and his wife live in Minneapolis.
previous:
next:
Saving…
×