Google announced Thursday that two new partners will be creating hardware for its VR video platform, Jump. The company will be partnering with IMAX and Chinese camera manufacturer, Yi Technologies.
The announcement came alongside an array others at Google’s I/O conference. Yi Technologies will create a new camera to pair with Google Jump and IMAX says it will work with Google on designing a new high-resolution camera for cinema quality VR.
Jump uses an array of cameras positioned in a circle to capture 360 degree footage. The Jump software syncs the cameras together and stitches the separate shots together into a 360 degree video.
“For nearly 50 years, IMAX has pioneered moving image capture to allow filmmakers to produce the highest resolution images across 2D, 3D, film and digital formats, said IMAX Corp. CEO, Richard L. Gelfond.
Coupling this with more specialized and advanced cameras could be the first step towards fully immersive films in virtual reality. With this technology, first-person films like Hardcore Henry may become commonplace, and hopefully better.
“IMAX is known everywhere for their incredible immersive cinematography and sound, and we’re delighted to have them contribute their decades of experience in cameras and content to the Jump platform,” said Clay Bavor, VP, Virtual Reality at Google.
A year ago when Google launched Jump, it partnered with GoPro to create the Odyssey, an array of 16 cameras that captures full 360 video. Recently, both Google and GoPro announced that they will be shipping the rig to a select number of partners. Currently, Paramount, Discovery and the New York Times have access to the hardware.
The technology is still in its infancy and there is certainly a long way to go. However, the GoPro odyssey is available in Google’s YouTube Space production facilities in Los Angeles and New York, allowing amateur filmmakers and vloggers to get their hands on technology and start creating according to The Verge.
Also in the announcement, Google stated that there will be a YouTube app on the new Daydream platform compatible phones, that allows users to experience full 360 video in 3D with directional sound. Google will release a design for a Daydream headset and hand controller at some point later this year, they said in their keynote speech on Wednesday.
According to CNET, “Clay Bavor, head of VR at Google, hinted at increasing demand from Hollywood to get professional-grade VR-ready cameras in a market, which already has a few options from companies like Jaunt and Nokia”.
All of these advancements point in numerous directions. However, one direction none of the announcements point towards is the price of all of this. As of now the price and release date are unknown for the two cameras.