360-Degree Camera In Development, Looking To Provide Real-World Graphics To VR Content

By Connor Sears , Updated Sep 30, 2014 03:30 PM EDT

The VR race is quickly coming to a head, with several big-name companies moving toward releases for their VR headsets and programs. The need for new content for these VR devices will likely shoot up once the consumer market opens up, and cinematographer Roham Rahmanian and production company The Astronauts Guild are looking to get in on the bottom floor with a 360-degree camera capable of creating real-world VR experiences.

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Most VR headsets currently in development have already stated their compatibility with several top game engines like Unreal and Unity. Plenty of games have been prototyped for the Oculus Rift or other devices using these engines, but The Astronauts Guild wants to set these engines aside and create content using real-life footage.

With a 360-degree camera, filmmakers could shoot movies that would allow the watcher, equipped with a VR headset, to pan around and focus the camera where he wanted to. Viewers who get bored with a story could turn away and see what's happening in another part of the screen. Directors could aim to make content that's more immersive than ever before.

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Of course, there are bound to be difficulties with 360-degree filming – where the crew gets to stand if the camera really does record in all directions comes to mind – but a successfully shot project could be groundbreaking.

The 360-degree camera and a 180-degree camera are currently in testing. Beyond creating content for VR kits like the Oculus Rift or Sony's Morpheus, The Astronauts Guild hopes that this technology can also be used to allow for in-depth medical training and even virtual travel.

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