Facebook releases its new open source 360° VR camera

Announced at the F8 Facebook developers conference yesterday, the 17-lens 3D VR camera, Surround 360 is not for sale. Rather, the company will release the designs for the hardware, as well as the algorithms required to stitch the video together, via Github later this year.

“In designing this camera, we wanted to create a professional-grade end-to-end system that would capture, edit, and render high-quality 3D-360 video,” the company said in a statement.

“In doing so, we hoped to meaningfully contribute to the 3D-360 camera landscape by creating a system that would enable more VR content producers and artists to start producing 3D-360 video.”

“We're open-sourcing the camera and the software to accelerate the growth of the 3D-360 ecosystem — developers can leverage the designs and code, and content creators can use the camera in their productions.”

The camera will streamline the post-production process, eliminating manual video stitching requirements and reducing the post-production time from several days 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.

Try it out the results below:

And the price of the parts required to build a fully working Surround 360? US$30,000.

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