GoPro acquires Kolor, a startup specializing in VR, spherical content

In the last two years we’ve seen several cameras designed to capture spherical imagery. Whether photo or video, spherical content lets you pan around, giving you a more immersive, 3D experience. Many of these products come from start-up companies, but now we can add a major force in the category: GoPro. The maker of the popular Hero action cams just acquired Kolor, a company that makes spherical media and virtual reality (VR) apps, like its 360-degree video player, Kolor Eyes (available for iOS and Android).

To demonstrate how Kolor works with a setup of multiple Hero cameras, GoPro created a 4K video, “Land, Air, and Sea” that allows the viewer to pan around a 3D-experience. To make the video, GoPro used a special rig that mounts multiple Hero cameras together into a position that captures a spherical picture; the GoPro mobile app can be used to operate the cameras simultaneously. The footages are then edited using Kolor software, which stitches the videos together in order to create the spherical, panoramic content; Kolor also handles color correction and rendering. The video then takes advantage of sharing solutions like YouTube’s new feature that lets users upload 360-degree videos. (GoPro has a page dedicated to spherical solutions.) On GoPro’s website, the rendered video can be viewed in various formats and resolutions, such as Rectilinear and Fisheye, and Full HD, 2K, and 4K; YouTube viewing is only supported via Google Chrome, and you don’t get the full experience.

While the content can be viewed using your Web browser or an app like Kolor Eyes, it’s obvious that GoPro is tapping into the emerging VR market that’s being driven by Oculus. GoPro says its new immersive videos like “Land, Air, and Sea” will be compatible with the Oculus Rift and Samsung Gear VR, as well as products like Google Cardboard.

“We have already been seeing many people using GoPros in different kinds of three dimensional risks to really capture the beginning of the spherical media content,” says GoPro president Tony Bates, in the company’s quarterly earnings call.

Product Review

Sony's Xperia 10 falls frustratingly short of budget brilliance

Better know for premium products, Sony does also have a budget smartphone range, but can the Sony Xperia 10 compete with great cheap phones from Nokia and Motorola? We put it through its paces to find out how it measures up.

The best budget-friendly GoPro alternatives that won’t leave you broke

Cold weather is here, and a good action camera is the perfect way to record all your adventures. You don't need to shell out the big bucks for a GoPro: Check out these great GoPro alternatives, including some 4K cameras, that won’t leave…

Here's how to download a YouTube video to watch offline later

Learning how to download YouTube videos is easier than you might think. There are tools you can use both online and offline. This step-by-step guide will instruct you on how to use them.

Check out our favorite Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus accessories

The Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus are two of the most talked about smartphones of 2018. If you've managed to get your hands on one, you're no doubt looking to score some new accessories. Here are a few of our favorites.

Sony FE 135mm f/1.8 is sharp enough to handle futuristic 90-megapixel cameras

Lens launches come with a lot of hype and marketing speak but a recent test confirmed some of the initial claims around the Sony FE 135 f/1.8. A rental company says that the Sony 135mm is the sharpest lens that it has ever tested.

Forget folding phones, the Insta360 EVO camera folds in half to shoot 360 video

The Insta360 EVO is a...flip camera? Unfolded, the Insta360 Evo shoots 3D in 180 degrees, folded, the new camera shoots in 360 degrees. The EVO launches with what are essentially a pair of 3D glasses for your phone, not your face, the…
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Write music with your voice, make homemade cheese

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!

Obsbot Tail camera uses A.I. to follow the action (or a pet) for you

Want to capture more epic action selfies, or see what your pet is doing while you're gone? The Obsbot Tail is a camera-gimbal combo that uses artificial intelligence to follow the action.
Social Media

Twitter takes a cue from Instagram and Snapchat with new quick-swipe camera

Twitter is giving the "what's happening" treatment to photos and video by allowing users to access the in-app camera fast enough to catch and share the moment. The new Twitter camera is now accessible with a swipe.

The Lensbaby Composer Pro II with Edge 35 mimics tilt-shift blur for less cash

Want to create a tilt-shift image on a budget? The new Lensbaby Composer II with Edge 35 mimics the look of a tilt-shift lens for under $500. The new Edge 35 optic is part of the Composer Pro II optics system.

Loupedeck Plus can now edit video, audio with Final Cut Pro

The list of Loupedeck Plus-compatible software is growing. The photo-editing console now works with Final Cut Pro and Adobe Audition for video and audio editing. The controls can be configured to be used on either platform.

Photography News: Taking a smartphone photo probably saved this guy’s life

A man was snapping a photo in Australia when the smartphone stopped an arrow shot at his face. In this week's photography news, see Canon's plans for a stabilized mirrorless, Hasselblad's newest accessories, Samyang's latest lens, and more.

Nvidia’s A.I. Playground lets you edit photos, experience deep learning research

Nvidia is making it easier to access information on deep learning research. It has launched an online space with three demos for image editing, styling, as well as photorealistic image synthesis. 

Paper designs digitize in real time using an Illustrator-connected paper tablet

Love graphic design, but prefer the feel of real paper? The new Moleskine Paper Tablet - Creative Cloud Connected syncs with Adobe Illustrator in real time, turning paper sketches into digital drawings.