It’s not all iPhones and iPads this week, as Google and GoPro get together to show us a world where video will be something that isn’t just shot from one angle, but every angle altogether.
Good news camera fans, because GoPro is chiming with information about a new accessory designed for filmmakers who want people to not only see their point of view, but to experience it, relying on a specialty camera rig designed to do just that.
The product is the “Odyssey”, and it’s a circular casing system for 16 GoPro Hero4 Black cameras, with these arriving in the package complete with GoPro BacPac battery extenders and syncing cables, while the casing is made to be fairly rugged, just like the GoPro cameras themselves.
At the bottom of the system, you’ll find a tripod mount — because a standard GoPro mount just isn’t going to cut it for 16 cameras — and depending on the style of tripod and tripod head used, you could make this stationary or for something in motion.
But the GoPro Odyssey is only one part of the equation, and it is being released as part of Google’s “Jump” platform, which takes the 16 video feeds from the Odyssey camera system, and then processes it using Google’s online cloud so it can be thrown on YouTube, with the viewer able to watch the footage and drag with their mouse in the YouTube player to change their point of view.
“Virtual reality is a promising new innovation with incredible potential for commercial and artistic applications,” said GoPro President Tony Bates.
“With Odyssey and Jump, GoPro is encouraging content creators to pioneer the new technology – to capture, edit and share immersive content.”
GoPro’s Odyssey does come with one caveat: it’s not cheap. Not by a long shot.
In fact, with a price of $15,000 USD, GoPro Odyssey is definitely one of the pricier ways to jump into the world of virtual reality filming, though it will be one that at least has the backing and testing of not just GoPro, but also Google.
For comparison, you can actually find different style of 360 degree camera rigs from various online stores, with these carrying prices ranging from around $300 USD all the way up to nearly $2000, though you do need to bring software to the table.
In fact, here at GadgetGuy, we’ve been experimenting (above) with out own take on the concept, relying on rubber bands and cardboard tubes (and it actually works, if you can believe it).
With GoPro’s Odyssey, however, the technical stuff has been worked out for you, and with Google on-board, it might even work, especially given that the firmware has been modified to operate for the capturing of 360 degree content, with your videos able to be uploaded to YouTube’s virtual reality system, and also possibly used on competing VR devices like Samsung’s Gear VR platform.
“We already know that GoPro users are some of the most talented content creators in the world, so we can’t wait to see how the professional community will use Odyssey to capture life’s most memorable moments in a whole new way,” said Bates.
If you have the funds to pull off 360 degree filming and that $15K price tag won’t be a bother, you’ll find GoPro is accepting application forms to pick who it allows to enter its Odyssey program, with sign-ups starting now.