Facebook (owners of Oculus) announced their new Facebook Surround 360 video camera yesterday during their 2016 F8 keynote.
The camera features 14 wide angle cameras, capable of capturing video at 2048×2048 pixels (4.1megapixels) at 60FPS. It is constructed out of metal, instead of plastic, in order to allow for long periods of use without warping the camera positions due to overheating.
The camera’s stitching software exports completed 4K, 6K, and 8K video for each eye. The 8K videos double industry standard output and can be played on Gear VR with Facebook’s custom Dynamic Streaming technology.
The camera’s design and stitching code will be open source and made available on GitHub this summer. (Awesome!) According to fb, it can be built with off the shelf parts for around $30k, which will position itself as an affordable competitive alternative to some of the other high-end 360 cameras which have recently hit the market.
The keynote announcement can be seen in the video below, which goes into more details.
Facebook admitted that the construction of the camera and software has and still faces many challenges. By offering up the design and software for open source, facebook provides others with the ability and freedom to explore and create new solutions that will inevitably result in a much stronger and diversified Oculus ecosystem of immersive content creation.
Sean Earley is the Executive Editor of AR/VR Magazine & co-founder of RobotSpaceship Podcast Network. He is the Director of New Biz Development and Publishing at KEMWEB, a musician, producer & consultant. He loves guitars, VR and coffee.