There are still a number of hurdles to overcome before 360 degree photos and videos can be deemed truly ready for viewing through virtual reality (VR) head-mounted displays (HMDs). Progress is undoubtedly being made; this week’s announcement of Google Jump could prove to be hugely relevant in the long run, but issues with stitching and other factors mean it’s not quite ready yet. New VR software Optonaut is also looking to bring its own improvements to viewing 360 degree content with a smartphone. A Kickstarter crowd-funding campaign is currently running for this intriguing new service.
Optonaut‘s Kickstarter is hoping to raise €15,000 EUR to deliver 3D panorama recording to a user’s smartphone. This consists of an app that lets users view images in VR with the use of a mobile HMD such as Google Cardboard and even Gear VR. The app itself automatically takes images from numerous angles as users slowly rotate the camera, then combining them into a 3D image that can be viewed through an HMD. These images can even be shared with friends who won’t need the Optonaut app itself to then view them.
The company behind Optonaut hopes to make the app available for free, hence the crowd-funding campaign. Users can still gain a variety of rewards from backing, such as a special edition Optonaut Cardboard HMD for €15, which aims to start shipping in July 2015. Backer rewards continue all the way up to €5,000 where HMD manufacturers can make sure that the app will support their very own product. The campaign is set to draw to a close on 11th July 2015 and, at the time of writing, has raised just under its half of its goal at €7,305.
VRFocus will continue to follow Optonaut, reporting back with the latest updates on its progress.