Google to Shut Down its Jump VR Platform in June
Google is shutting down its cloud-based video stitching service, Jump, this summer. The tech giant emailed the creators on the platform on Friday afternoon informing them that the Jump VR platform will be going offline on June 28. Google will start deleting users and data on the same day and has informed creators to begin downloading their data early before the platform completely shuts down. Google’s detailed plans for the shutdown have also been posted on its website.
The Jump VR platform was launched in 2015 to help in simplifying the process of creating 360-degree 3D videos through the use of videos and shots captured by compatible camera rigs. The rigs normally consist of multiple action cameras as shown in the image above. Once the captured footage is uploaded onto the Jump VR platform, Google leverages on its cloud to automatically stitch the footage together. It was basically a video-stitching service for 360-degree 3D videos.
Google explained in the email that the shutdown of the Jump VR platform was occasioned by the emergence of new video formats as well as of cameras for virtual reality video. With the emergence of these new cameras, formats and editing tools, the demand for the Jump assembler is continuing to fall. After June 26, Jump users won’t be able to upload new footage onto the video stitching service and the tech giant has given users up to June 27 to download all their files from the platform. Cameras that are Jump-compatible such as Yi Halo and GoPro Odyssey will still work with other third-party video editing software. They are normally expensive cameras that cost tens of thousands of dollars.
The Jump VR platform came about as a result of Google’s ambitious plans for VR videos which also included a bid to build dedicated virtual reality cameras in collaboration with hardware vendors such as Yi and GoPro. The partnership with GoPro was first announced in 2015 and in 2016, Google entered into partnership with Yi which ended up releasing a $17,000 virtual reality camera rig that it had developed in partnership with Google.
Google was deeply involved in both the camera design and the development of the software even though it left the actual hardware development to its partners. Google’s goal was to eventually simplify the capture and production of 360-degree 3D videos by leveraging on its robust cloud infrastructure.
To capture videos, Jump-compatible camera rigs were used which consisted of at least 16 individual action cameras. The footage captured was then uploaded directly to the Google servers. The footage would then be automatically stitched by the Google Jump software to create a 360-degree 3D video. The Jump software eliminated the need for the manual stitching of captured footage.
The Jump platform was not just critical for Google’s hardware partnerships and its cloud-based software but the tech company also leveraged the platform to kickstart the creation of virtual reality content for YouTube and its other immersive reality endeavors. As part of this effort, the YouTube creator spaces were equipped with Jump cameras that helped the creators to capture 360-degree videos.
With the closure of Jump, Google will be exiting another major virtual reality endeavor. In late 2017, the tech giant also pulled out from its plans to build a high-end cinematic camera in collaboration with Imax.
Much of the Daydream VR team at Google has also been reassigned to the augmented reality project and its Spotlight Stories VR studio was shut in March, a clear sign that the company is pivoting away from virtual reality and moving towards augmented reality.