California-based camera manufacturer Lytro has developed a 360° camera that takes virtual-reality (VR) video to the next level.
Lytro's Immerge uses similar technology to its consumer-facing camera released in 2014, which used unique light-field technology and a powerful processor to capture millions of rays of light. This groundbreaking design allowed users to completely refocus their shots after they were taken.
Immerge combines five layers of these light-field sensors in a spherical unit, each of which can capture over three times the resolution of competing VR cameras, Lytro claims. It captures 360° videos that let the viewer move around the captured space with six degrees of freedom (forward, back, up, down, pitch and yaw).
Unlike other VR cameras that capture multiple images and stitch them together with software (sometimes creating jarring distortions), Immerge captures highly reliable depth information to recreate the scene. This enables editors to combine real-world and computer-generated imagery in an immersive, convincing manner for use in VR headsets.
Immerge comes in a package aimed at professionals, alongside editing and playback software that works with all the leading VR headsets. It also comes with a dedicated server to store and process the huge amount of data required for each shot.
Consumer 360° cameras that let the user choose their point of view are appearing across consumer electronics trade shows. For the latest examples, see our coverage of IFA 2015. For a look at new ways for brands to harness video, see New Video Marketing Strategies.