How GoPro Spherical Will Change The Way We Interact With Video

By Tim Donovan

Apart from being a videogame developer or toy manufacturer, video has to be one of the coolest trades around. The best part about working in video production is that we get to play with a lot of awesome toys.

Every day, revolutionary new technology is introduced to consumers and professionals alike. Generally, video is linear in the sense that you can only see what is in the frame when playing the video forward. But what if you could record and see what was outside of the traditional 16:9 frame? Have you ever thought of how cool Google maps would be if it were a video that could allow you to look 360 degrees in Street View? The GoPro Spherical will allow you to do this!
The GoPro Spherical is a 6 camera array that allows you to view a 360 degree video by scrolling with your mouse, or by viewing on a virtual reality (VR) headset. It allows you to literally control your experience. Imagine driving through New York City, and being able to turn and look back at something in the video that you caught in the corner of your eye – well now you can.
 Here is a great example video:

How is this possible? Earlier this year, GoPro announced their interest in the VR space after the acquisition of VR media company Kolor. Kolor is best known as an iOS app that stitches multiple photos together to create a 360 degree panoramic image. The concept for video is very similar. Because you can only capture live action as it happens, the spherical mount makes use of 6 GoPro Hero 4 cameras with wide angle lenses capturing motion simultaneously – from 6 different angles. There hasn’t been much said yet as to the technology behind seamlessly stitching the moving images, though it’s likely to be very similar to the existing software in the Kolor photo app.

An official release date and pricing has yet to be confirmed, though GoPro did mention a price point north of $3000. This includes the 6 cameras and spherical housing. VR has seen rapid adoption for consumers in the gaming world, and I’m confident that this will see quite a bit of use in both consumer and professional video production.

I am personally very excited for this device, and I can not wait to add it to our arsenal for use on our own clients’ projects. In the meantime, if you have any questions about our current lineup of video production equipment, please reach out at info@figmints.com