Google today announced that it’s collaborating with more companies to build more cameras that work with Google’s Jump computer vision system for assembling three-dimensional virtual reality video.
First, Google will collaborate with IMAX to create “a cinema-grade Jump camera,” Google head of VR Clay Bavor said at the Google I/O developer conference in Mountain View, California. That’s because Google’s VR efforts — presumably including the Cardboard headset, not just Jump — has garnered interest from Hollywood, Bavor said.
But that’s not the only place where easy-to-use VR is resonating — in Asia, Yi Technology will be releasing a Jump-ready camera this year, Bavor said.
Google introduced Jump at I/O last year. GoPro was a key partner; Jump was being depicted as a system that could knit together footage from multiple GoPro cameras.
Four months after that, GoPro opened up an early-access program for the Jump-compliant 16-camera Odyssey rig, which has a $15,000 price tag.
Plus, Google wants Jump to become more pervasive, so it will be promoting it in a few places.
“And today, we’re officially launching our Jump program at the YouTube Spaces in L.A. and NYC and we will it bring to all YouTube Space locations around the globe soon,” Kurt Wilms, senior product manager of YouTube virtual reality at Google, wrote in a blog post today.
Also today, Bavor showed that Google’s Expeditions program for bringing VR into education settings has been making progress.
Expeditions was originally launched at last year’s I/O as Cardboard Expeditions, because the idea was to bring Cardboard VR experiences into classrooms. Google has expanded the size of its Expeditions Pioneer Program, making it possible for students and teachers in more schools to use the technology.
Google has now taken more than 1 million students on Expeditions — VR field trips, essentially — up from 500,000 in January, Bavor said.