Facebook announces second generation of its Surround 360 video camera

By : |April 20, 2017 0

Mark Zuckerberg has been unequivocal about his company’s VR push. Marking Facebook’s deeper dive into the VR technology, the social network announced the second generation of its Surround 360 video camera design at F8 conference yesterday.

The new camera is shaped like a ball and comes with either 24 lenses (the x24) or six lenses (the x6). It’s the second 360-video camera to come out of Facebook in the past two years; the first camera, which looks like a flying saucer and has 17 lenses, was also unveiled at Facebook’s F8 developer conference last year.

CIOL Facebook announces second generation of its Surround 360 video camera

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Unlike last year, Facebook isn’t just releasing the design schematics for these cameras online. It is now teaming up with a select group of hardware partners to manufacture and sell finished products later this year. It’s unclear if these products will be Facebook-branded in any way, but the company is still stressing that it has no plans to sell the cameras directly.

The new models are smaller and more portable than the previous camera, can more easily connect and transmit content to video editing software, and contain algorithms that add a sense of depth to the video. The cameras also let people view filmed video from different perspectives through what’s known as six-degrees of freedom.

Facebook says this will have big implications for the 360-degree format, giving developers the ability to create more engaging videos. You’ll even be able to edit live-action captures with CGI imagery like adding butterflies to an outdoor scene or even changing the background from cloudy to sun or from daytime to nighttime, all thanks to the light and depth data.

Facebook says it hopes to have the new cameras available by the end of the year. The company isn’t telling how much the cameras will cost, but it’s a camera for professional photographers, not amateurs, which probably means it’s surely going to be heavy on pockets.

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