Lytro first appeared on the scene in 2011 with its unique light field cameras that allow for refocusing of an image after it has been captured. However, after the concept failed to catch on in the consumer space, the company decided to abandon this market and focus on Light Field video solutions for professional users.
More recently the inevitable happened and Lytro discontinued the pictures.lytro.com platform, which had allowed Lytro users to share their refocusable ‘living’ light-field images with others online and through Facebook.
Now TechCrunch reports tech giant Google is about to acquire the company. According to unnamed sources, Google will pay approximately $40 million for Lytro’s technology and patents. According to the same sources, some Lytro employees have already left the company.
Lytro’s technology could be very useful for Google’s ventures into the rapidly growing area of virtual reality where it is competing with Facebook’s Oculus and a number of other players. A recent example of Google’s VR activities is the “Welcome to Light Fields” app on the digital distribution platform Steam. According to the app description, users can “experience real-world reflections, depth, and translucence like never before in VR.”
eCapture Technologies has launched a new version of the LyfieEye mobile camera on crowdfunding website Indiegogo. Called LyfieEye200, this model is being dubbed “the world’s smallest 360° VR/AR camera,” and offers a bunch of neat AR/VR features for Android users who want to get more mileage out of their smartphone photography adventures.
The LyfieEye200 was designed for Android smartphones, and adds 1440p support in addition to the original model’s 1080p resolution. The removable camera plugs directly into a smartphone’s USB-C port, where a pair of greater-than-180° FOV fisheye lenses work together to enable both 360° image/video capture and 360° livestreaming.
To make the magic happen, the camera works in conjunction with the LyfieView200 Android companion app on devices running Android 5.0 or newer. And if you want even more creative possibilities, eCapture offers both the LyfieStroll and LyfieRoam apps for creating simple VR and AR content, respectively. Finally, the camera is also compatible with PCs running Windows 7 or higher, but it does not support iOS.
The LyfieEye200 is available now on Indiegogo, where backers can ‘reserve’ theirs by pledging at least $90 USD. Shipments to backers are expected to start in June, assuming the campaign reaches full funding and doesn’t pull a KitSentry.
Photographer William Briscoe captured this spectacular 360° 8K timelapse on January 31st near Fairbanks, Alaska. He shared the video on his YouTube channel and Facebook page a few weeks ago, alongside this description:
Here is a 360 video of the Lunar Eclipse, Alaska style, which I filmed on January 31st near Fairbanks. Lady Aurora, being the Diva she is, just couldn’t let the moon have all the attention that night, so she made a nice showing as well.
If you have VR glasses of some sort, by all means slap them on! If not, simply drag the video around until you spot the moon, then watch as it disappears and becomes a black disk by about 30 seconds in, allowing the aurora to cover it entirely for the duration of the eclipse.
The full video is only a minute and ten seconds long, but that doesn’t mean it was easy to shoot. Responding to a comment on YouTube, Briscoe revealed that it was -31°F (-35°C) out that night, so just getting his 360° rig to work was a challenge.
By Randy Astle
With the release of Coco last year Pixar created yet another film that won over critics and audiences with rich visuals and a compelling story; it’s earned over $200 million so far and just took home the Best Animated Feature Oscar. Pixar wanted to use the property to push forward into new territory, though, and thus used Coco as the vehicle for its first virtual reality experience. To do so they tapped Magnopus, a Los Angeles-based VR/AR company that had previously produced Moana‘s virtual reality product for Disney. The result is Coco VR, a visually arresting gaming experience that also constitutes Oculus’s largest foray into social VR thus far. […] → continue…
From:: Filmmaker Magazine
Camera gear rental company KitSplit has announced that it raised $2.1m in seed funding from investors that include 3311 Ventures, HearstLab, Entrepreneurs Roundtable, NYU Innovation Venture Fund, and others. The funds will, in part, help the company grow its presence in Los Angeles, according to TechCrunch.
KitSplit is an affordable—and increasingly popular—gear rental company that boasts a large customer base including notable companies like National Geographic and NBC. For renters, KitSplit provides access to a large roster of gear, including lights, camera, lenses, and even VR equipment, which are listed for rent by both individuals and businesses.
The company acquired then-competitor CameraLends last year, a business move that made it the largest rental company in the world.
According to company CEO Lisbeth Kaufman, who spoke with TechCrunch, digital media companies have expressed ample interest in KitSplit’s platform. “We’re reimagining the Hollywood production studio as a local marketplace,” said Kaufman. “We want to make resources like gear and staffing and location more accessible to all content creators.”
Though KitSplit offers rentals throughout the entire US, the company is currently focusing on the Los Angeles and New York City markets where it is hiring.
Artificial intelligence (AI), the blockchain and mixed reality were at the center of the recently completed Berlin Film Festival’s newly expanded Horizons section. Taking place within the European Film Market (EFM), the 2018 program’s focus on buzzy technological innovations bucked the predictions of some skeptics by drawing sold-out crowds and with several tech companies choosing the festival to launch their platforms. The continued expansion of virtual reality (VR) was also in discussion, with a wide range of projects, including the virtual behind-the-scenes of Wes Anderson’s opener Isle of Dogs, available for viewing in the festival’s inaugural VR cinema. EFM Director […] → continue…
From:: Filmmaker Magazine