GoPro may have announced a quadcopter and a purpose-built rig for filming VR yesterday, but the action camera giant apparently wasn’t done. Now, GoPro announced that it has built a completely separate rig with Google. It’s a 360-degree, 16-camera array, and it’s the first one specially made for filming 3D VR content for Google’s new “Jump” VR ecosystem.
GoPro’s new camera array slots right into that ecosystem, and will let people easily create VR content for everything from YouTube to Google Cardboard. Basically, GoPro and Google want VR filmmakers all the hassle of hacking together DIY rigs made of duct tape and 3D-printed parts.
There’s no doubt that GoPro is an industry leader when it comes to hardware, but by releasing a Jump rig the company is able to strengthen its software side without needing to do much of its own development (it also acquired Kolor, a VR software company, earlier this year). The cameras will automatically be synced using the software Google has created for Jump, the footage will be optimized, and thanks to that cohesion users will apparently also get better battery life — something that’s still a major sticking point for GoPro users.
According to GoPro, the new product will only be available to Google’s YouTube content creators for six months through what’s being called an “early access program.” Much like the rig announced at the Code Conference yesterday, it will eventually be available to the public, but there’s no set price yet.