Facebook today announced two new additions to the Surround360 hardware initiative that are poised to make 360 video more immersive. Unveiled at the company’s yearly developer conference, F8, the so-called x24 and x6 cameras are said to capture 360 video with depth information, giving captured video six degrees of freedom (6DoF). This means you can not only move your vantage point up/down, left/right like before, but now forwards/backwards, pitch, yaw and roll are possible while in a 360 video.
Facebook says depth information is captured for every frame in the video, and because it outputs in 3D, video can be feed into existing visual effects (VFX) software tools to create a mashup of live-action capture and computer-generated imagery (CGI). Take a look at the gif below for an idea of what’s possible.
For now the AR-focused Camera Effects platform is necessarily a smartphone-only affair, but promises to provide the basis for some of the interactions that will take place in the perfect ‘glasses form-factor’ AR headset of the future.
“I used to think glasses were going to be the first mainstream augmented reality platform, and that maybe 5-10 years from now we’d get the form factor that we all want,” Zuckerberg admits. “But over the last couple of years, we’ve started to see primitive versions of each of these use-cases on our phones and camera.”