Facebook has laid down a massive gauntlet in the virtual reality space. Updating its Surround 360 VR camera – which was launched last year – Facebook has launched two new systems (the x24 and x6) that combine multiple cameras in order to create the illusion that the user is walking around a VR scene.
Most 360 VR cameras currently on the market essentially keep a user’s head on a fixed point, allowing them to look up, down, left and right (even behind them) and hopefully in 3D. However, Facebook’s latest systems go one step further, giving the user the ability to physically move around a VR scene.
The new cameras achieve this by overlapping camera streams for additional depth information. New software has also been built into the headsets to integrate CGI effects and improve frame transition.
Of the two systems, the x24 is the larger model, running with 24 cameras. As its name suggest the x6 only has six cameras in comparison but has been designed as a ‘more portable’ option. Unlike the original Surround 360, the new systems are built by hardware makers to make the camera available to a wider audience.
The price for the x24 and x6 remains to be seen but if it’s predecessors $30,000 pricetag is anything to go by then it is set to be a pretty penny. When exactly the cameras will be released is also up for debate with Facebook refusing to go anymore specific than ‘later this year’.