GoPro launching new virtual reality camera, online platform

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The race to create both the hardware and the software that will drive the emerging virtual reality market is heating up, and now GoPro has unveiled its latest plans to support VR filmmakers and fans. At this week’s NAB (National Association of Broadcasters) event in Las Vegas…

Gopro1 Image: GoPro

The race to create both the hardware and the software that will drive the emerging virtual reality market is heating up, and now GoPro has unveiled its latest plans to support VR filmmakers and fans.

At this week's NAB (National Association of Broadcasters) event in Las Vegas, the company will unveil a new VR camera and launch a new VR platform for sharing immersive videos.

First, GoPro will show off its new Omni VR camera, which features six synchronized cameras in what the company calls a spherical array, but the housing itself looks more like a rounded square.

The six Hero4 cameras, plus the aluminum rig, which is lightweight and made for action shots, will be offered for $4,999 and will allow users to capture 8K video.

gopro omni

Image: GoPro

The GoPro Omni

The company is also introducing GoPro VR, a combination website and free app platform for iOS and Android designed to showcase VR content from around the world as well as facilitate the sharing of that content.

In the run-up to the launch of the VR platform, GoPro released a stunning sample of some of the footage that will be available. The preview footage is fully interactive on YouTube, allowing you to pan around in all directions.

But despite the increasing amount of rich VR content out there, similar VR platforms like Samsung's Milk VR have so far failed to generate much interest beyond the VR enthusiast niche.

However, GoPro's mainstream footprint, and focus on capturing outdoor activities from skateboarding to surfing, could be just the thing to jumpstart a truly robust VR content sharing platform.

gopro2
Image: GoPro

Late last year, GoPro took the wraps off its highest end VR device called the GoPro Odyssey, a 16-camera circular array that sells for $15,000.

The Omni will be available for pre-order beginning Monday via the GoPro website.


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