Immersive-acquisition specialist Insta360 is looking to the future at CES, previewing a forthcoming eight-lens VR camera model and a prototype 180-degree camera that uses light-field technology to ensure six degrees of freedom of movement, or 6DOF, for viewers.
The new VR camera is said to shoot 3D video at nearly 10K resolution with 4/3-inch video sensors. The company didn’t go into detail on any other camera specs, nor did it estimate a ship date, but it did estimate a $12,000 price tag — meaning it will position Insta360’s offering a bit closer to the rarefied air once occupied by the now-discontinued $25,000 Nokia Ozo system. (The company’s flagship Insta360 Pro sells for just $3,500.)
A more radical advance is also on display with a prototype of a new light-field system using a rectangular grid of 128 cameras. Light-field cameras gather information about the direction light is traveling, as well as its intensity, which allows the capture of a volumetric image, rather than a flat 2D or stereoscopic 3D scene with just one or two “views” on the recording. That means the immersive environment can correctly reproduce parallax — if you move your head over to the right, you should be able to see around an object in the scene as if you were in a real-time CG engine, rather than an immersive video environment where the relationship of items in the scene does not change with head movement.
Insta360 said its forthcoming 128-camera array could be used to capture a 180-degree field of view that allows the viewer approximately 1.5 feet of free movement in six directions — up, down, left, right, backward and forward. The same technology could be applied to a 360-degree capture, as well, the company said, presumably using even more cameras. More information is coming “at a later date,” the company said.