Virtual reality (VR) offers opportunities traditional flat videos can’t. Viewers feel like they are part of the experience, especially for events they cannot attended – a wedding, for instance. Or, VR could be used as a way of sharing travel experiences with family and friends back home.
Google has invested in VR technology for years and feedback showed that both creators and viewers wanted a more immersive experience, especially on YouTube. As a result, the VR180 video format was designed to make it easier to create VR content.
What VR180 does is focus on what’s in front of a shooter. The footage taken looks really immersive once viewed with a VR headset. Essentially, you feel like you’re in the very room where what you’re viewing took place.
Of course, you would need a device to create VR180 videos. One of Google’s partners in this quest is Yi Technology, who came up with the YI Horizon VR180 Camera.
The YI Horizon VR180 is small and it comes in black. Introduced at the recent CES 2018 in Las Vegas, the camera comes with a dual 13MP fisheye lens with a 2.2-inch touch screen at the back. The Horizon’s display can be flipped for selfie-taking purposes.
The Horizon can take both photos and videos. And for those who can’t wait to share their experiences, the camera can livestream video to YouTube Live. The camera comes with a professional-grade 4 microphone design with outdoor noise reduction for equally great audio capture on top of the high-quality video.
Although the content taken with a VR180 camera can be viewed on standard screens, it is best enjoyed when viewed with a VR headset. The VR experience is activated when viewed with Google Cardboard, Dayderam, PSVR, or other certified VR viewers. Otherwise, the content is viewable in 2D.
Media transfer is also easy with the YI Horizon thanks to a built-in WiFi feature. Stills and videos can immediately be uploaded to Google Photos or YouTube without going through so much trouble. Media transfer can also be done through the USB Type C port.
The YI Horizon VR180 is also designed to work with the VR180 app of Google for the uploading and viewing of content.
3D Video Capture
With the YI Horizon VR180 camera, video is captured in 3D at 5.7K resolution and at 30fps. The camera also supports in-device stitching and livestreaming.
YI Technology CEO Sean Da says that the company believes creating and sharing virtual reality experiences should be easy for everyone. With the Horizon, users now have a tool to share more immersive experiences with their family, friends, or intended audience. A travel blogger, for instance, can allow their audience to step into their current destination and “experience” the same thing without actually being there.
Events like weddings also benefit from VR. Those who cannot make the event can still “experience” the atmosphere with footage taken with the YI Horizon VR180.
Although no details have been released regarding the retail price of the Horizon VR180, it is expected to ship later this year.