Lytro Immerge Is The World’s First Light Field VR Camera
Virtual reality is an exciting game field for tech startups, especially with the boom of VR headsets which demands a lot of immersive content. On the production side of VR, tech companies have been working on specialized cameras to capture immersive and realistic 360-degree VR video.
Lytro recently announced the Immerge, a professional-grade camera system for capturing VR-optimized video for virtual reality headsets. The Immerge is aimed towards major VR content production studios which will make use of the VR camera to create immersive videos that let you move around and interact with a scene – as if you were really there.
In the past, Lytro has released two still cameras that failed to become adopted by prosumers. The company was founded by Ren Ng, a researcher at Stanford University, in order to bring the so-called light field camera technology to mainstream, consumer-level products. With funding rounds amounting to over $150 million, Lytro is well-equipped on the technology side but is still struggling to find its target market.
At first glance the Immerge looks like a futuristic-looking ball, but it is a unique spherical camera. This VR camera, about the size of a beach ball, is composed of five rings of high-resolution, professional quality video sensors stacked on top of each other. These optical sensors work by capturing detailed photo information on rays of light and then use this data to essentially recreate a scene in three-dimensional fashion so it can be viewed from different directions. The unique thing about the Immerge is that it gives the viewer the ability to move through a scene, where the virtual content could move in sync with the viewer’s physical movements, such as moving up or down or leaning forward or backward.
Certainly, the Immerge is not targeted for consumers with its high price tag and sets of features. According to Lytro, it is targeted for professionals working in the VR industry such as in VR studios, sports leagues, and top Hollywood filming studios, where the VR camera will likely be rented for its use. The entire system will be priced starting at $250,000.
Lytro hopes to release the camera in the first quarter of 2016 – just in time when VR headset makers such as Sony, Oculus, and HTC will release consumer versions of their virtual reality headsets.
For more information on Lytro Immerge, please visit the following websites: