Make 360 video calls via chat with the iPhone-compatible Insta360 Nano S camera

The company that launched the first smartphone 360 camera is opening up a new type of recording using one of the most used functions of a smartphone: chat. Insta360’s Nano S, an iPhone-compatible 4K 360 camera, allows users to share via chat without an app download.

The Insta360 Nano S allows users to make 360 video calls — and the recipient doesn’t even need to download an app. Inside the Insta360 app, users can generate a URL for the 360 video chat and send the link through any messaging platform. All the recipient needs to do is open the link in a web browser to join the call (provided they are using a device that meets the minimum system requirements). Similar to viewing other 360 videos, swiping around shows the 360 view.

For pre-recorded videos, the Nano S has a new shooting mode with MultiView, a setting that allows the user to choose two different viewpoints to record in a split screen on a standard aspect ratio. The feature, Insta360 explains, is helpful for tasks like simultaneously recording an event and the user’s reactions in the same shot. By splitting the screen, viewers can see both simultaneously without scrolling. Users can also choose to split screens with the tiny planet view on one side and a standard view on the other.

Another new mode, FreeCapture, allows 360 videos to be cropped later into a standard aspect ratio, a helpful tool for following the motion in a scene without actually having someone to direct the camera’s movements. The idea of capturing everything in 360 and editing it down later is a growing concept for 360, including the GoPro Fusion’s Overcapture mode.

As a successor to the earlier Insta360 Nano, the Nano S has several similar features, including connecting via the lightening port rather than relying on a wireless connection. The update also brings stabilization, but rather than making the device larger to build in a gyroscope, the Nano S accessed the iPhone’s own gyroscope to stabilize the footage. The Nano S also offers 4K, a bump up from the 3K on the original Nano.

The Insta360 Nano S is available now directly from Insta360’s website with a $239 list price and two color options, silver and matte black.

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