GoPro Is Moving into Virtual Reality
Extreme sport videos are about to get way more immersive.
It may sound like a sci-fi gimmick every time you read about it, but virtual reality is truly almost in your hands. From high-end military training software to 360° porn, VR technology has come a long way since the Nintendo Virtual Boy in the ‘90s. Tech giants including Google, Facebook, Microsoft and Sony have all bought into the craze and are working frantically on commercially viable hardware. Now lightweight camera manufacturer and BFF to extreme sports GoPro is getting in on the action well. Snowboarding videos will never be the same.
The American company has confirmed it's set to purchase Kolar, a small French software startup that specialises in panoramic video. GoPro already makes a multi-directional camera mount capable of shooting 360° video, footage that the Kolar software can then stitch together.
As part of their announcement, GoPro released a video of what that looks like — although unless you want to give yourself a serious headache, you’ll need to watch it in Google Chrome.
According to a statement by GoPro CEO Nicholas Woodman, "GoPro's capture devices and Kolor's software will combine to deliver exciting and highly accessible solutions for capturing, creating and sharing spherical content." Spherical content.
The immersive video will initially be compatible with Google Cardboard — Google's ultra low budget cardboard mount that turns your smartphone into a kind of DIY virtual reality headset — before being expanded to work with other, higher end systems such as Oculus Rift and Samsung Gear VR.
Top images: GoPro.
Published on April 29, 2015 by Tom Clift