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Google, Yi Technology Unveil $17000 VR Camera


The product's hefty price tag may scare away some creators, but Google wants to get its latest toy in the hands of its creative community.

Google is also launching Jump Start, a program to grant select filmmakers access to the Halo and Jump Assembler software so they can create their own 360-degree movies.

The 17-camera monster rig is expected to go on sale in the coming summer season. Where it differentiates, itself from the likes of the GoPro Odyssey, is that much like the Odyssey which has 16 camera units, the Halo has an extra 17 unit attached on top, so as to stitch the sky together to the rest of the image. The camera has been developed to work with Google's Jump professional virtual reality platform.

Finally, as mentioned above, users of the Yi Halo camera system will have access to Google's Jump Assembler, a cloud-based production tool that can take raw broadcast data and stitch it together into VR 360-degree video.

Technology giant Google yesterday introduced the next generation of its virtual reality Jump camera - the Yi Halo - and announced Jump Start, a program to give Jump cameras to more VR filmmakers.


Companies like YI Technology can then license Jump to meet their hardware needs.

The enormous camera setup is capable of shooting 8K stereoscopic video at 30 frames per second (fps) or 5.8K at 60 frames per second. But no - the Yi Halo just weighs 7.7 pounds. At the time the hardware that accompanied it was the GoPro Odyssey, a big circular contraption containing 16 GoPro cameras.

The Halo can capture 8K by 8K stereoscopic 360-degree VR footage at 30 frames per second (FPS), or 6K by 6K at 60 FPS, Yi chief executive Sean Da told reporters during a media briefing last week. It also has a smartphone app, a touchscreen control panel, and there are levels on the rig structure so filmmakers can line up the horizon.

In fact, Google is also reported to be readying a pilot program termed Jump Start.

Created to stand the test of time better than its predecessor... of sorts, the GoPro Odyssey, with an extra-reliable, robust build, the Google-backed YI HALO also shines in the battery life department, offering creators the freedom to continuously shoot for 100 minutes.

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