Yesterday at the F8 Conference for developers in the tech industry, Facebook introduced a kind of scary-looking piece of hardware for capturing fully immersive 360-degree video. Instead of calling it the Roswell or the Flying Saucer or something like that, they went with Surround 360.
The Surround 360 is loaded up with 17 separate cameras, 14 circling its edges and three fish-eyes on the top and bottom. All of these cameras sync up to provide a comprehensive series of images that are then automatically melded together with a special bit of processing software that creates a purportedly smooth and seamless interactive (and 3D) 360-degree image for VR headsets and myriad other applications.
Pricing and other release details on the Surround 360 camera rig are still to come, but you can get a lot of technical specs and additional information from Facebook’s press release right here. And if you see one flying around your neighborhood*, don’t be alarmed: It’s just watching.
* Surround 360 Does Not Actually Fly