Google Jumps forward with new VR camera

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Google has unveiled the latest version of its Jump VR camera, boasting 17 4K cameras and weighing less than eight pounds.

Costing $16,999, the Yi Halo is Google's attempt to make VR filmmaking easier and more accessible to filmmakers.

Camera footage is run through Google's Jump Assembler, which uses algorithms and Google's data centers to create 360-degree 3D VR video. The company said post-production processing takes several hours, ensuring "ensures seamless, artifact-free stitches that are ready in a few short hours".

Google said the low weight of the camera and battery life of 100 minutes of continuous shooting made it easier to film on location. Filmmakers can view live previews and remote control the camera through a compatible Yi Halo Android app.

Derin Turner, Production Director at VR Playhouse, said: “This camera and Jump ranks as one of the best and easiest pieces of equipment and platform to use on the market.”

The camera will go on sale this summer although Google has made it available early to select creators through the Jump Start program.

Emily Price, Product Manager, Jump, said: "Jump Start gives selected filmmakers both free access to a Jump camera and free unlimited use of the Jump Assembler for their VR film. Over the next year, the program will give over 100 creators these tools and enable them to make their vision a reality."

Filmmakers have until 22 May to apply to the program.

Last week Nokia announced new features for its OZO virtual reality camera solution. The vendor said the picture quality had been improved, as well as the post-production studio.