Preview: Facebook Surround 360 VR Camera

Ok so at the just concluded Facebook F8 Conference, there were so many new innovations Facebook unveiled that caught my attention.

But the Facebook Surround 360 is the real deal for me. Mark Zukerberg’s sojourn into virtual reality began when he bought over Oculus, the maker of Oculus Rift for USD 2 billion, a virtual reality, VR, maker. The introduction of Facebook Surround 360 marks the beginning of the virtual reality race among major tech giants.

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As a preview, the Facebook Surround 360 is better explained by its name. It is a high-quality, production-ready 3D-360 hardware and software video capture system. The system includes a design for camera hardware and the accompanying stitching code will be made available on GitHub by summer.

According to Facebook, the device is:

  • Building on top of an optical flow algorithm is a mathematically rigorous approach that produces superior results. Our code uses optical flow to compute left-right eye stereo disparity. We leverage this ability to generate seamless stereoscopic 360 panoramas, with little to no hand intervention.
  • The stitching code drastically reduces post-production time. What is usually done by hand can now be done by algorithm, taking the stitching time from weeks to overnight.
  • The system exports 4K, 6K, and 8K video for each eye. The 8K videos double industry standard output and can be played on Gear VR with Facebook’s custom Dynamic Streaming technology.

Why Should You Buy It?

So why should you buy the Facebook Surround 360? There are many applications of this interesting device. If you are a film maker, music video producer, concerts organisers and you want to do cool shots of major action scenes and details, you can either buy or rent this device.

For event and concert planners, the camera can actually stream live videos to Facebook feeds and you can easily broadcast your event with a three dimensional effect. Surround 360 will also have security usage. You can use it to monitor a location in real time as videos can stream directly to your Ger VR.

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