Google is launching a new platform for creators to make immersive 3D imagery.
While Google Cardboard seemed a bit like a joke a year ago, it's clear that Google isn't slowing down in its VR efforts. Alongside the announcement of a new version of Cardboard, Google is also announcing a new VR content capture system called Jump. Jump is an open system for designing 360-degree video capture rigs, which will in turn capture data to be processed into immersive 3D imagery for VR headsets.
Much like the Project Beyond camera rig from Samsung and Google's own Street View camera setups, Jump camera rigs are made from an array of 16 cameras in a circular pattern. The cameras capture video instead of stills, and when processed by Google's massive computing platform can fill in gaps and gather depth information so that the end video is of the highest quality. The difference this time around is that Jump is an open design that anyone can use, meaning we should see multiple variations of the design that can all capture similar video.
Google says that it hopes multiple camera manufacturers will get on board with Jump and make their own camera rigs, and used a partnership with GoPro (shown above) as an example of what can be done with the Jump design. Complete VR video experiences will also now be hosted on YouTube starting this summer, where you can easily access them from phones using Cardboard holders.