One of the more interesting new video imaging technologies on the horizon is 360-degree photography that can be viewed with special software on computer screens, YouTube and from new Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality headgear.

We’ve all heard about immersive surround sound, we are now entering the era of immersive surround video.

One of the more intriguing consumer-level hand-held high-performance 4K 360-degree cameras was introduced this week at the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) Convention in Las Vegas by YI Technology, which introduced the YI 360 VR camera.

The device, which is being positioned for both professional and consumer 360-degree video capture applications, is billed as “a major step in making truly high-end virtual reality video easy and accessible to anyone who wants to create and share content.”

Read more on the YI 360 VR after the jump:

Yi Technology said the YI 360 VR is set for release in June at a $399 suggested retail price, and advanced orders are being taken now.

It is said to be “the first VR camera to combine high-fidelity, 360-degree video capture, mobile application for easy use along with 4K instant, in-device stitching and 2.5K live-streaming to any sharing channel.”

In a statement, Sean Da, CEO of YI Technology, said that although  VR is exciting and promises a new ways of creating and sharing immersive experiences, “it can also be really intimidating. For VR to truly take off it has to be easy and fun.”

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Da continued that the mission in developing the YI 360 VR camera was to make a product that would be “simple, enjoyable and useful for anyone, from kids to professionals. “

Therefore, the YI 360 VR eliminates cables, confusing interfaces and bulky components, while offering 5.7K fidelity, 4K in-device stitching and 2.5K live-streaming.

YI 360 VR captures 360-degree video in 5.7K/30fps for post-production work, using an Ambarella virtual reality SOC H2V95 chip and a pair of 220-degree lenses mated to a pair of 12MP Sony IMX377 CMOS sensors. It also captures 5.7K 360-degree still photos.

The company said the by offering seamless in-device stitching without added software virtually anyone can easily produce in camera smooth, sharp immersive 4K 360-degree videos that aren’t clunky, choppy like many competitive systems requiring images to be stitched together on a computer.

The YI 360 VR weighs six ounces and mounts almost anywhere like common action cameras. The settings and commands are easily controlled on the device or from the companion YI 360 VR mobile app. Users can easily preview, playback, edit and share 360-degree videos from any smartphone, YI Technologies said.

It will record more than an hour of video on one battery charge (AC power also included) and includes built-in WiFi to view, edit and share video instantly and continuously inside the app.

The 2.4GHz and 5GHz WiFi connection enables live-streaming 2.5K/30fps 360-degree videos and downloading photos and videos from camera to smartphone.

Photos can be taken with auto synchronization to any smartphone for fast and easy posting to social networks.


By Greg Tarr


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