Welcome to CES 2016! We arrived at the world’s biggest Consumer Electronics trade show ahead of the official opening tomorrow for all of the press preview events, and some big announcements are already being made. As we’ve said before, Virtual Reality, or VR, is going to be a major fixture here this year, and a company called Human Eyes technology is targeting consumers not with another pair of VR goggles, but with what it calls the first affordable consumer 360-degree 3D VR camera, putting VR content creation firmly in the hands of videographers just like you and me.
Priced at $1000, the Vuze Camera involves 8 full HD cameras within what the company swears is an easy-to-use point-and-shoot form factor. The lightweight camera also comes with a selfie stick and tripod for simple, stable capture of stereoscopic 3D and 2D 360 VR videos. Between its SD card and battery, it can capture about 1 hour of VR video at a time. The video is captured with both 120 degree horizontal and 180 degree vertical lenses which, when stitched together, makes 4K video.
To process the captured footage, the Vuze provides Vuze studio, software that makes it easy to stitch all the video together and apply a wide array of effects and processing. The video comes out as easy-to edit H.264 files which transfer easily to a computer for further editing. All that means that aspiring VR videographers will be able to pick up a Vuze camera in August of this year, and start making their own sweet VR videos to be enjoyed on a rapidly expanding array of platforms.
And that’s just the tip of the VR iceberg for CES 2016. At CES unveiled last night, I ran into this. We’ve all seen the giant VR goggles before, but how about headphones with the optics built into the headband of a pair of headphones? Yes, I know, I look like Geordi La Forge straight out of Star Trek: The Next Generation, but this is an interesting alternative to the massive goggles approach, and I think it’s going to gain some traction. Incidentally, those VR headphone/glasses are connected to a 180-degree stationary panoramic camera that renders VR images in real time for a wireless VR experience. Did we mention VR is huge this year?
Finally, LG announced first thing this morning its new lineup of televisions for 2016. We’ve already told you about LG impressive new Super UHD TVs — yes, we’re serious, that Super, Ultra High Definition – but now we’ve got video of one of them in action. These are easily the best LCD TVs LG has ever made, and should make some waves this year.
The crown jewel of LG’s collection, however, is its newest 4K Ultra HD OLED TV, which conforms to the newly established UHD Alliance spec for premium Ultra HD TVs. The Signature OLED G6 complies with both open HDR and Dolby Vision HDR, and because it has perfect black levels, more color, and higher brightness than ever before, is able to attain an eye-popping contrast ratio of 1 million 80 thousand to one. That’s better than you’ll get from any LED television, even if they can get much brighter. We honestly didn’t think OLED could get much better, but the G6 proves us wrong. As usual LG isn’t talking about pricing right now, but we’re guessing the 65-inch model will come out sometime this Spring somewhere in the $10000 neighborhood, while the existing EF9500 and EG9600 65-inches will continue to sell for $5,000, and that number may come down even more very soon. Can you tell I’m excited? The G6 looks amazing and will be one of the most talked about TVs at the show, even with massive 98-inch 8K televisions making an appearance.