Virtual reality (VR) is undeniably cool, but think about just how much of the experience is wasted. Total immersion requires a complete sphere of video (“360”), but humans can only see roughly half of that experience at any given moment.
That’s why YouTube announced VR180 a bit ago, the idea being if you cut the VR “world” in half, you can boost the quality of the experience significantly, and most of what you’re getting rid of the user isn’t seeing anyway.
Now all the format needs is actual support, and that’s underway. Lenovo announced it would be the first Google partner to debut a VR180 camera. The new Lenovo camera can fit in your pocket and is meant to be as user-friendly as a point-and-shoot.
Unlike point-and-shoots, however, this camera will be made specifically for shooting VR. Besides creating VR videos, the camera will also shoot half-sphere still photos and even stream live in the VR180 format, which is obviously already supported by YouTube. The camera is even said to support stereoscopic view (if you view on a VR headset), meaning the footage will have actual depth and not look “flat.”
Since Lenovo is marketing the new VR camera towards people who want to capture visual pleasantries in everyday life, not professionals, it’s aiming to sell it for around the same amount as other point-and-shoot cameras. And should be just as easy to use.
Google is also supposedly partnering with LG and Yi to make more VR180 cameras. Google says it’s prioritizing compatibility for the format, so it can be viewed seamlessly across VR platforms like Cardboard, PlayStation VR, and Daydream.
As to when Lenovo’s camera will actually get a formal unveiling its anyone’s guess, but you can sign up for updates here.