Lucid VR, the maker of the 180-degree LucidCam virtual reality camera, announced it is bringing on Oculus co-founder Jack McCauley as its chief engineer. McCauley, whose credits also include designing the guitar and drum game controllers for Guitar Hero, was with Oculus until Facebook acquired it for $2 billion in 2014. He will put his expertise to use building up the supply chain for the LucidCam in order to meet a high expected global demand for the camera.
The LucidCam is a dual-lens camera, but rather than placing the lenses back to back like in 360-degree cameras such as the Samsung Gear 360 or Giroptic iO, it puts them side by side. This limits the field of view to just 180 degrees, but it allows for true stereoscopic, or 3D, vision. The camera works with both iOS and Android phones to provide a seamless, easy-to-use VR experience when paired with a VR headset. It boasts 4K video, 32GB of internal memory, and Wi-Fi live streaming among its specifications.
The real goal of the LucidCam, however, is to simplify the VR creation process. The camera’s internal processing handles all of the work, erasing the need for postproduction on the part of the user. It also weighs just eight ounces and can slip into a pocket, making it one of the most portable VR creation tools out there.
With the camera expected to ship in August, McCauley’s hire is timely. According to a statement released by the company, McCauley believes the LucidCam has “tremendous market potential,” but he also offered an interesting opinion on the world of immersive video. “The industry incorrectly believed that 360-degree cameras were the way to go,” he said. It’s true that 360 cams remain in somewhat of a niche market, but we are not sure that ease of use is enough to bring stereoscopic VR into the true mainstream.
Regardless, Lucid VR is expecting worldwide demand to reach into the millions and says it has already exhausted its ability to supply enough cameras. The press release also hinted at an upcoming LucidCam 2, although no details were given. The LucidCam is available for order now for $500.