Would you ever buy a Jump rig?

The new YI 360 VR™ is a major step in making truly high-end virtual reality video easy and accessible to anyone who wants to create and share content

The new YI 360 VR™ is a major step in making truly high-end virtual reality video easy and accessible to anyone who wants to create and share content

Google's contribution to the project is limited to the use of its Jump software that will allow the making of a full-length VR film using the individual camera feeds. As well as offering access to the software which includes both Jump Assembler and Jump Manager software, the Jump Start program will supply up to 100 filmmakers with access to a Jump camera. And the company should be able to pull this off too, considering the camera will come in at a price of a whopping $17,000.

It teamed up with Xiaomi-backed Chinese hardware maker Yi to create the Halo, a 17-camera system that's designed to capture 8K x 8k stereoscopic 360-degree footage at 30fps, as well as 6K x 6K content at 60fps.

Google chose to partner with another company instead of building its own camera for a second time, partly because "other companies are much better at building cameras", said Amit Singh, vice president of business for Google's VR division.

The new hardware was announced by Google on April 24, about a week after Facebook unveiled its plans for a pair of VR cameras. If you could, would you purchase a jump camera rig to capture 360-degree videos? It also has a smartphone app, a touchscreen control panel, and there are levels on the rig structure so filmmakers can line up the horizon. The entire rig weighs less than eight pounds. The first-generation model, GoPro's Odyssey, had 16 cameras and cost $15,000.

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The Jump Start program is created to give filmmakers easy access to hardware like the Yi Halo. Users can also turn to third-party battery solutions, offering utmost compatibility. Originally it was meant to be an "open" camera design that laid out the ideal camera geometry for the Jump Assembler, Google's cloud-based automated stitching process.

Those interested can apply for the Jump Start program up to 22 May.

Apart from the YI HALO, the Seattle-based company also arrived at NAB 2017 to announce the YI 360 VR, a consumer-oriented 360-degree camera with support for automatic video stitching capabilities that can record 2.5K content in 30 frames per second. Instead, the Halo is aimed at lengthy multi-million dollar productions that use expensive special effects artists to put together the footage.

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