Virtual reality headsets are finally reaching consumers, and one company is working on a way to make it easier for people to start building video content for that platform.
VideoStitch, the company responsible for software that instantly renders together multiple camera feeds for live 360-degree video, is now releasing the Orah camera to reduce the pain from the hardware side of this equation. The Orah 4i is a plug-and-play solution for capturing and broadcasting 360-degree videos for platforms like YouTube and Facebook as well as VR headsets like Samsung’s Gear VR and the Oculus Rift. VideoStitch is launching the camera today at a special price of $1,795. It will quickly raise that to $3,595 in a few weeks. The company explained to GamesBeat that it is targeting “prosumers” who are looking for a 4K all-in-one solution to start producing content for a VR market that tech adviser Digi-Capiutal predicts will generate $30 billion in revenues by 2020.
Other companies have VR cameras on the market. The Ricoh Theta S is $350, and it’s built for consumers who want their own person 360-degree videos. It does a decent job, but it is not built with live events in mind. VideoStitch wants to reach customers who not only need a powerful tool for setting up robust 360-degree livestreams, but also don’t want to hire an expert to set everything up.
“We want to make this for people who have a business case for setting up a livestream,” VideoStich strategic partnerships vice president told GamesBeat.
Today, a lot of business would have to hire someone to rig together 16 GoPros into a specialized rig from companies like Google. Alternatively, they could buy one of the professional 360-degree cameras like the Nokia Ozo … for $60,000.
To show the power of the camera, VideoStitch expects to build similar relationships with other organizations and companies.
We already know that Valve is building a virtual-reality viewer for its Dota 2 online multiplayer game. This enables people to feel like they are sitting in an audience inside a simulated world. But that kinda experience could also easily work for real-world events like sports, and that’s where the Orah camera could step in to provide professional organizations and sports leagues with an easy, instant way to experiment with the technology. After spending some time with VR, having the option to watch live events in 360-degree video is something I know I would enjoy, and I can’t wait for the NFL, NHL, and just any other sport to put in their order for a few of VideoStitch’s latest product.