360 degree video cameras are quickly becoming popular thanks to the anticipation of head-mounted displays (HMD) such as the Oculus Rift that allow users to watch virtual reality (VR) videos. In the past month Samsung has revealed its own Project Beyond camera for the Gear VR HMD while cinematic VR company Jaunt has released its first 360 degree video shot with its own camera. Now 360Heros, a company specialising in these types of videos, has revealed a new 360 degree video camera system designed for use underwater.
That system is 360Abyss, a rig that contains six GoPro cameras, built for filming at depths of 1000 metres. Each camera is housed inside its own compartment, preventing leaks and fitted with a high-resolution exterior photography dome. Using these domes the system can capture videos of up to 7.5K in resolution. Each compartment has both anodized and poly carbonate doors that provide each camera with negative and positive buoyancy respectively. Domes can also utilize interchangeable 55 mm filters for aquariums, blue water or green water environments.
“Our goal in developing the 360Abyss was to put power in the hands of divers and cinematographers,” Michael Kintner, 360Heros CEO and 360Abyss inventor said of the device’s reveal. “We wanted to push the limits in terms of what was possible in filming 360 video underwater.”
360Abyss is currently available for pre-order via the company’s official website, starting at $5,395 USD. Various attachments can also be added, though note that the GoPro cameras themselves aren’t included. It’s not yet clear when the kit will ship.
Underwater environments are already popular locations for VR videogames, as can be seen in the likes of Ocean Rift, Narcosis and World of Diving. Underwater VR filming could prove to be something of a revolution, though, allowing viewers to experience exotic scenery without having to suit up and dive themselves. VRFocus will continue to follow any and all VR-related news, reporting back with any further updates.