Perhaps a tad overshadowed by all that was going on with their virtual reality (VR) rivals at this year’s International Consumer Electronics Show (CES), what with the HTC Vive Pro being announced on one side and Xiaomi revealing not only a partnership with Oculus (and Qualcomm) but a new standalone headset for the Chinese market – the Mi VR Standalone. That’s not even counting the 4K gaming standalone HMD that is being brought out by iQIYI. Google did reveal, with its partner Lenovo its own big standalone news in the form of an update regarding the Mirage Solo. However the company wasn’t done there and had another piece of hardware to show at the event.
Teaming up with YI Technology an internationally focused company working in the field of advanced intelligent imaging technologies, the pair unveiled a new immersive camera, the YI Horizon VR180.
As you may have guessed from the name this camera creates experiences in 180 degrees, and integrates with both Google Photos and YouTube to use the VR180 format the company has rolled out to each. Video is captured in 5.7K resolution at 30fps whilst also supporting instant in-device stitching and also live streaming. A finalised video project can be viewed in VR through compatible headsets which naturally include both the Google Cardboard and Google Daydream but also the PlayStation VR gets a specific mention
Key features listed by the companies are as follows:
- Capture stunning 5.7k resolution photos and video
- One-button live video streaming
- 2.2 inch, 640×360 retina touch screen
- Features Type-C USB port with HD speed data transmission
- Professional-grade 4 microphone design with outdoor noise reduction
- Easily manage photos and videos by using the VR180 app by Google
Speaking on the reveal YI Technology CEO Sean Da said that “Whether it is to demonstrate a makeup tutorial or share rich experiences from a recent trip with friends and loved ones, the Camera provides an easy and deeply engaging way to capture many of life’s most special moments. When the opportunity to work closely with Google’s VR team on this initiative presented itself, it was a no-brainer given the team’s extraordinary commitment to defining the future of VR experiences and extensive investment in the YouTube VR180 format. We believe the YI Horizon VR180 Camera will bring endless amounts of joy to all that use the device.”
Clay Bavor, Google’s Vice President of VR was also on hand. “We introduced VR180 as a way to make capturing high quality, immersive photos and video easy for consumers and professional creators. YI’s camera has amazing image quality, as well as features that we think will be compelling for creators like livestreaming and a preview display. We’re excited to see what consumers and creators are able to capture and bring to virtual reality.”
You can see a video below demonstrating the technology, that will be in VR180 if you have one of the compatible headsets (it is not really possible to get the full experience on YouTube alone). VRFocus will have more information about the camera as it is revealed.