Facebook kicked off its annual F8 developer’s conference with the debut of an open-source 360-degree camera. All of the components are available online with a total cost around $30,000. Plans and software are to be released this summer on Github.
The device is expected to be capable of capturing ultra high resolution 8K stereo video that can then be played back at native resolution on the Gear VR using Facebook’s new dynamic streaming codec. The plans include a Linux computer to handle data ingestion using a 5-SSD RAID array.
Stitching will be handled automatically and works in a similar way to Google’s Jump camera, analyzing each frame to recreate depth information and then synthesizing virtual cameras to create a seamless panorama. This means that the camera cannot stream stereo video in real time; the finished shots must be rendered “overnight”.
Rift Delays Extended
Last week Facebook confirmed that an undisclosed component shortage is slowing the release of the Oculus Rift. The company gave free shipping to all early pre-orders as an apology.
This week, Oculus provided more information to early adopters through the order history page, giving them estimated arrival windows. The $600 PC-powered headset was available for pre-order starting in early January with the first deliveries slated for late March. Now, some Rift orders promised for March ship dates may be delayed into May (and orders originally slated for April have slipped to June). New orders are expected to ship in August.
Oculus provided some information on Reddit for prospective buyers and, separately, said “many Rifts will ship less than four weeks from original estimates, and we hope to beat the new estimates we’ve provided.”
VideoStitch announced the Orah 4i 360 video camera, which is designed specifically for live streaming monoscopic 4K video at 30fps. It can be preordered for $1,795 and will retail for $3,595. Shipping is planned for July.