Live streaming 360 video available to the masses

Live streaming 360 video could soon be widely accessible to the masses.

Lenovo has announced it is developing a camera that combines two of the biggest trends in video right now: 360-degree video and live-streaming. While there are 360 cameras and there are live-streaming cameras,  combining the two together requires camera rigs, stitching boxes, cable set-ups, pricey gear and software and live streaming 360 video is not really accessible to consumers yet. But that could all change quickly. According to an interview with the VR-focused publication, Upload VR , Lenovo is developing a consumer camera that allows for live-streaming 360 videos, wire-free.

With the camera still in development, there aren’t many specifics floating around such as the price and availability, or for that matter, a name. But Lenovo did say that the camera uses the Myriad 2 processor from Movidius to both stitch the footage and correct the distortion.

Currently, to produced live streaming 360 video, cameras need either a stitching box that handles the computations and uploads, or software from a connected smartphone or computer. Users can live stream via YouTube and Facebook for example but need special stitching software, and a computer, excluding the cost of the expensive 360 rig The Vahanna VR stiching liscense is $1800 a year. While live-streaming 360 video is possible, it’s not really possible at a price accessible to the average consumer.

The product that’s under development would essentially cut out the middleman, enabling Live streaming 360 video without sending the video to stitching software inside a computer or smartphone first, and without using boxes or cables. If the technology is truly as consumer-accessible as Lenovo suggests, the camera would need to be priced significantly lower than the software-and-camera combinations that usually cost well over £2500

While both companies are being pretty quiet about the whole thing, the new camera is emerging from a partnership between Lenovo and Movidius. The details are sparse enough to question if the Lenovo device will be the first to offer live-streaming in a consumer camera, but the combination of both features inside something accessible to the masses could make a big impact.

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