Google Hacks Together a GoPro-based Light Field Photography Rig for VR

Google is always up to something when it comes to technological innovation. Their most recent venture involves a rotating rig of GoPro cameras to improve their VR imagery. Using light field photography for this particular venture is quite intriguing, as it can lead to more realistic VR content in the future.

Google’s New VR Imagery Venture

It is always interesting to see how Google tries to tackle the VR ecosystem. Rather than just focusing on VR headsets, the company always wants to capture more realistic virtual reality scenes. To do so, the company is using light field photography ad a rotating rig of GoPro cameras. Although this technology is nothing new under the sun, it has not been commonly used in the VR industry just yet.`

More specifically, capturing all rays of light from a scene and where they came from is a very different approach in this regard. Assuming one uses the right hardware and software, it becomes possible to create interactive pictures which can be refocused endlessly. For virtual reality, this will lead to better image quality overall and giving users an option to see around the corners of close objects to improve the overall realism of a specific scene.

As one would come to expect, this method of capturing VR content is not cheap nor efficient in its current form. Instead, it is a rather expensive venture, even though using a rig of GoPro cameras brings down the overall costs significantly. Whether or not this will result in the same degree of quality one would expect from light field photography as a whole, is something else entirely.

For now, we have to wait and see what Google plans to do with this technology moving forward. Although the recorded material has become available through the Welcome to Light Fields application, the company will need to commercialize this technology at some point. Whether or not Google plans to do so, remains to be determined at this point.

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