Google and IMAX partner up over VR camera development

google partnership with imax for vr camera development odyssey
360-degree virtual reality movies are an exciting development that a lot of people — Joseph Gordon Levitt included — are closely evaluating. To realize this new technology’s potential, though, they’re going to need specialized cameras, which is why Google is teaming up with Canadian film company IMAX to develop the future of VR camera rigs.

Announced at the Google I/O developer conference in Mountain View, California this Thursday, Google said that it will use the expertise of both IMAX and Chinese firm Yi Technology to develop a new generation of 360-degree cameras, designed specifically to film for VR.

The set up will not only record VR content, but will also upload it to Google’s Jump platform for tweaking and editing.

Related: Disney agrees to use Nokia’s OZO camera for VR content related to its movies

Not much information has been given about when we can expect the partnership’s developments to be made available. It could well be some time, as Google previously developed a 360-degree camera rift with GoPro, called Odyssey, and that took a famously long time to come to market.

That product is however now available for some, with Google said to be shipping it out to select partners. Wevr and the New York Times have both purportedly made use of the GoPro-powered rig (thanks Variety) and Google has also outfitted its YouTube recording facilities with the same cameras for those who want to use them.

Chances are that whatever price tag Google ends up putting on its IMAX/Yi Technology camera set up, it will be a high one. Nokia’s Ozo camera is one of the most advanced VR camera rigs available right now, with hot swappable storage and battery packs, but it comes at a hefty price of $60,000.

Whether Google will look to borrow a few feature ideas from Ozo and some of the other competitor VR camera rigs remains to be seen. Jump integration is guaranteed though.

The firm also recently announced that it was revamping many of its smartphone apps to better support VR content, so expect a continued drive from Google towards a virtual future over the next few months.

Product Review

What do you do with 187 megapixels? The Lumix S1R is glorious overkill

The Lumix S1R is one of the most capable cameras ever made, from its robust build to extensive feature set. But its key feature, a 187MP high resolution mode, is something few customers will have use for.
Smart Home

These best outdoor security cameras will keep porch pirates at bay

Worried about porch pirates stealing your packages, or intruders entering your home? Always be in the know about who or what is on your property by installing one of these outdoor security cameras.
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.
Product Review

Gate’s Smart Lock is locked and loaded but ultimately lacks important basics

In a world of video cameras and doorbells comes the Gate Smart Lock, a lock with a video camera embedded. It’s a great idea, but lacks some crucial functionality to make it a top-notch product.
Virtual Reality

Is the Vive Pro better than the original Vive? Our answer might surprise you

HTC Vive vs. Vive Pro, which comes out on top? That's the subject of our latest comparison, which looks at everything from tracking solutions, to controllers, and the brand new headset that could set a new standard for VR.

Samsung files a VR patent featuring a curved OLED display

Doubling down on its emphasis on curved displays, Samsung recently filed a design patent for a new virtual reality headset that could feature a curved OLED display, which would be an interesting development in VR.

Bringing realism to VR is complex, but these developers found a way in holograms

Making virtual reality feel real is the hardest job of all VR developers. For Awake: Episode One, StartVR used volumetric recording, rather than motion capture, to bring its characters to life like never before.

HP’s high-resolution VR headset provides comfort and Windows Mixed Reality

HP's new VR headset reportedly offers an exceptionally high resolution, highlights comfort and runs on Windows Mixed Reality. HP hasn't officially announced the new headset, but here's a look at some of its features.
Virtual Reality

Think virtual reality is just for games? These awesome apps will change your mind

Virtual reality isn't all about gaming. Swim with turtles, paint in 3D, and immerse yourself in some unique experiences the platform has to offer with our curated list of the best VR apps.
Virtual Reality

Getting into VR is spendy. Which headset is truly worth your hard-earned cash?

Virtual reality has finally gone mainstream, but how do you find the best VR headset for you? Check out a few of our favorites, whether you want the best of the best or a budget alternative for your mobile device.
Virtual Reality

HTC Vive Focus Plus makes it easier for developers to port PC content

HTC Vive has announced the Vive Focus Plus headset. The upgraded stand-alone headset makes use of "six degrees of freedom" support in controllers for a PC-like virtual reality experience.

Here’s how to watch Microsoft’s HoloLens 2 press conference

It is widely believed that Microsoft's WMC conference will be the stage for the unveiling of the next generation of its HoloLens mixed reality headset. We have the live stream right here.

Microsoft unveils $3,500 HoloLens 2 at MWC 2019. Here’s what you need to know

The HoloLens 2 is ripe for an announcement. Here's what Microsoft has revealed so far, what's likely in store for the next generation HoloLens, and everything that we know about this mixed reality headset.

Nissan designers use HaptX VR gloves to shape future cars

New car designs usually start out as clay before becoming metal, but designers are now swapping clay for pixels. Nissan is using virtual reality gloves from HaptX that give designers a tactile feel of virtual models.