GoPro Unveils New VR Platform and Rigs

GoPro is riding the virtual reality wave hard, revealing its new VR video platform, alongside its six-camera and sixteen-camera VR rigs. The GoPro VR app – available for free from today on PC, Android, and iOS – is effectively a rebranding of Kolor Eyes, the website and software inherited by GoPro following its acquisition of French VR outfit Kolor. “The platform allows users to experience the immersive world of 360˚ video and transforms users’ screens into a virtual portal, showcasing original content from GoPro and a global community of artists,” according to GoPro.

To make the most of this new VR platform, GoPro has launched two VR camera rigs; one designed to be entry-level, and another aimed at professional photographers and filmmakers. The entry-level model, the Omni (pictured above), features six GoPro HERO4 Black cameras, capable of “over-capture” at 8K resolution, stung together in the shape of a cube, to create 360˚ videos. The Omni is priced at $5,000 and is available for pre-order from today.

The Odyssey (above) – available only through GoPro’s Limited Access Program, the company’s professional-only scheme – sports sixteen HERO4 Black cameras, synchronised down to the pixel, aligned in a carousel. Images shot by the Odyssey are stitched together in Google’s cloud-based Jump Assembler software to construct 8K30, stereoscopic panoramic videos that can then be uploaded to YouTube. Priced at $15,000, the Odyssey is available to film professionals now.

Students Create Physical Feedback Glove for Virtual Reality

There is no doubt that in the past few years the virtual reality market has grown exponentially, with kits such as the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive looking to be released in the very near future, the new future of gaming is now nearly upon us. But one thing that was always lacking from the VR dream was physical feedback, being able to see what you were touching but not actually feeling it. Well now a team of students from Rice University have created the Hands Omni, a glove that provides physical feedback to actions committed in a virtual environment and it looking very promising, even in its very bare-bones state.

The glove, which had its development sponsored by Virtuix, a works by inflating and deflating small airbags under the fingers, providing the pressure you’d normally encounter in the real world at some level. The glove also recently won the “People’s Choice” award at Rice’s own Engineering Design Showcase.

Designed to be as unnoticeable to the user as possible, the glove uses a wireless system to give you all the freedom of movement you need, which is quite an issue with current VR systems such as the Oculus, as you are limited in the confines of the cable. The glove also only weighs an impressive 350 grams meaning that you will hardly even notice it, which is pretty handy for not breaking the illusion of virtual reality.

If such a product will soon become readily available for mass production, then we could see virtual reality get a whole lot more physical.

Thank you to phys.org for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of Oculus.

Virtuix Omni VR Treadmill To Ship This July

It’s been a long time coming, but I remember seeing the first few prototype videos of this, and I even happen to know a guy who owns one of these crazy VR treadmills, way before anyone else will get one. Us mere mortals however will have to wait just a while longer, as the Virtuix Omni VR Treadmill will begin shipping to Kickstarter backers this July, those who are quick and get theirs pre-ordered could see their stock arrive as early as September.

Demonstrations and trials of the Virtuix have proved very successful, allowing you to walk, run, jump and squat your way through your virtual environment. If you want to strap on the Oculus Rift or a similar VR device, you can then put on the special shoes that allow you to walk on the Omni treadmill, then go for a jog from Whiterun to Riften; keeping fit will never be the same again.

At just $499 for the Omni, special shoes, harness, software and some bundled software, the Omni is pretty good value for money, just try and find a good quality treadmill and you’ll see what I mean.

[youtube]http://youtu.be/l9gJPRTqHCg[/youtube]

Thank you HotHardware for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of HotHardware.