Over the past few months, Facebook has been making waves in the 360-degree VR platform. Recently, they outsourced the blueprint for their own Surround 360 camera on Github. This 30,000$ rig comprises of 17 cameras housed in a unique casing that resembles a flying a saucer. The blueprint of the Facebook Surround 360 Camera lists all the components that are necessary to get the device up and running in less than four hours.
Competing with Nokia’s OZO, the more expensive variant in this domain, Facebook Surround 360 has some unique features. It makes use of 4MP single unit lenses that are capable of shooting 4K, 6K or 8K HD videos. With Facebook Surround 360, the company is aiming to make massive inroads into the VR and 360-degreee content sharing platform. The blueprint is available for free along with a stitching software that helps in bringing the videos to life. However, this device is not commercially available and is a ‘do it yourself project.’
The list of components to build this project include the cameras, hardware, tools, machine parts, adhesives and other machine parts. The complete listing can be accessed here.
As mentioned in the list of components, the Facebook Surround 360 makes use of 17 Grasshopper3 4.1 MP cameras that are priced at $1,295 per unit along with 14 high-resolution wide-angle lenses manufactured by Sunex, priced at $129.
Compared to other offerings, the Facebook Surround 360 provides a complete package with a detailed description of the build along with a well-defined stitching software. There are other cheaper alternatives in the market, but they are not mass produced and are hard to find. The components needed to build the Facebook Surround 360 are already available in the market, and those who are interested can start with the build right away.
This particular device can come in handy to shoot exclusive 360 videos for various purposes. With many hand-held devices now supporting 360-degree video playback, I am sure that there will be many takers for Facebook Surround 360. Many social networking platforms are also trying to implement 360-degree concepts into their digital assists. Facebook itself is promoting the use of 360-degree content by launching Facebook 360 exclusively for Gear VR users. This a just a first step and is soon to be made available to other manufacturers as well.
Here is a sample video shot using the Facebook Surround 360 Camera:
I strongly urge the developers out there to join the Facebook 360 community to stay up-to-date on all the latest happenings and in-depth resources. Hope you enjoyed reading this blog. Recently, my colleague posted an article on the importance of Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality. Make it a point to go through it as well. There are some unique concepts mentioned in the article that will help you better understand the momentum being created in the domain.
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