GoPro’s wacky 16-Camera VR rig goes on sale for $15,000

At its I/O developer conference back in May, Google, you may recall, showed off an outlandish bit of kit designed to capture real-world 360-degree/3D video content for virtual reality.

The striking though somewhat unwieldy rig, which DT managed to see up close, comprises 16 GoPro cameras fixed to a tripod-mounted wheel. The mass of captured footage is processed by software offered as part of Google’s VR “Jump” platform, which can then be viewed via an Android handset slotted into the Mountain View company’s Cardboard 3D viewer.

Having tinkered with its design, GoPro has now put its multi-camera “Odyssey” kit on sale, though you’ll have to convince the company you’re a professional content creator to have any chance of getting your hands on it. Oh, and give them $15,000, too.

Your hefty cash outlay will get you 16 Hero4 Black cameras and “BacPac” connectivity mounts, the Odyssey panoramic capture rig, 16 MicroSD memory cards, all the necessary accessories and cables, and a robust Pelican case for safe transportation. The entire kit tips the scales at 14.5Ibs (6.6kg).

GoPro_Odyssey1

GoPro

Also part of the package is Google’s powerful stitching software that cleverly weaves together all the captured footage into one seamless, immersive video.

GoPro says it has a limited number of Odyssey units available, and is asking interested professional content creators in the U.S., Canada, the U.K, and several other countries to get in touch via an online form on its website.

Highlighting the potential of Odyssey and Jump, the company released a two-minute video (above) shot and processed entirely with all the gear, though you’ll want to strap on your VR headset to get the full effect.

A growing interest in VR is pushing an increasing number of companies to explore ways to create effective and immersive content for the platform. Nokia, for example, recently announced details of Ozo, an advanced spherical camera set for launch later this year. Also aimed at media professionals, Ozo captures footage via eight cameras and mics spread evenly around cantaloupe-sized globe.

Ozo looks a lot easier on the eye than GoPro’s gear, and is clearly more mobile, but we’re keen to see VR content from not just these but all the competing offerings before making any final judgments.

Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: camera with A.I. director, robot arm assistant

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!
Home Theater

Dolby’s secret recording studio app may soon exit stealth mode

In secret testing since June, Dolby's stealth recording and social network app may soon be ready to make an appearance. Dolby 234 blends unique noise-canceling tech with Instagram-like audio filters.
Product Review

Ring Video Doorbell 2 is the simplest entry into a smarter doorway

The Ring Video Doorbell 2 may lack the style and sophistication of premium door-dingers, but few can match its simplicity and versatility. The device, available in both wired and wireless configurations, is easy to set up and adds instant…
Apple

Apple may be developing a new iPod Touch to woo younger users

Apple may be developing its first new iPod touch model since 2015 as it aims to capture younger users who are not yet ready for their own smartphone, and expand its overall listening base in the future.
Photography

These point-and-shoot cameras make your smartphone pics look like cave paintings

If your smartphone camera just isn't giving you the results you're looking for, maybe it's time to step up your game. The latest and greatest point-and-shoot cameras offer large sensors, tough bodies, and long lenses -- something no phone…
Photography

GoPro bumps resolution on Fusion 360 cam to 5.6K with new firmware

Currently available in public beta, Fusion firmware version 2.0 offers a new 5.8K mode that results in 5.6K output when the 360 camera's two hemispheres are stitched together. It also adds support for 24 fps video and RAW time-lapse…
Photography

With 5-stop optical stabilization, Fujifilm GF 100-200mm is ready for adventure

Fujifilm revealed a new lens designed to deliver on the GFX system's promise of adventure-ready medium-format photography. The GF 100-200mm F5.6 R is a weather resistant, relatively lightweight, 2x telephoto with impressive stabilization.
Photography

Olympus teaser shares glimpse of OM-D camera that’s good for more than sports

Is Olympus about to release a new mirrorless camera geared toward sports photographers? The latest teaser offers a glimpse of an upcoming OM-D camera set to launch on January 24, and by the looks of the teasers, it's capable for landscapes…
Photography

Nikon A1000, B600 pack big zooms into compact, budget-friendly cameras

The new Nikon Coolpix A1000 packs in a 35x zoom lens, 4K video, and an optical viewfinder, while Nikon's B600 brings a 60x zoom lens to the table. The cameras are modest updates to Nikon's budget-friendly zoom models.
Social Media

Nearly a million Facebook users followed these fake Russian accounts

Facebook purged two separate groups behind more than 500 fake accounts with Russian ties. One group had ties to Russian news agency Sputnik, while the other had behavior similar to the Internet Research Agency's midterm actions.
Photography

From DIY to AAA, here's how to take a passport photo in 6 different ways

If you're applying for a passport or renewing one, you need to submit a photo in your official application. There are strict guidelines, but fortunately, it's something you can do at home. Here's how to take a passport photo.
Emerging Tech

The best drone photos from around the world will take your breath away

Most of today's drones come equipped with high-end cameras, which are quickly revolutionizing the world of aerial photography as we know it. Here are some of the best drone photos from around the world.
Photography

Photography news: Careful, self-driving cars can ruin your camera sensor

In this week's photography news, learn how self-driving cars destroyed a digital camera via lasers. Find out how many patents Canon filed for in 2018. Read about what Tamron lenses are available for the Nikon Z6.
Photography

Here are 8 GoPro tips to get the most out of your action cam

There's more to your GoPro camera than just mounting it to your skateboard. Whether it's finding the best accessories or understanding the settings more thoroughly, learn to shoot video like a pro with these simple GoPro tips and tricks.