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Facebook launches tool for capturing 360 video inside VR

22 April 2017

In layman terms, this means that you can move around in any given Virtual Reality scene shot using Surround 360-second generation hardware using your VR headset with positional tracking. In the past couple of years, the company has acquired and partnered with a lot of companies that are working in developing a better augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) platforms.

"We're trying to make it as close as you can to feeling like you're there", said Facebook CTO Mike Schroepfer in a presentation to journalists last week, as reported by CNET. Compare that to the original Facebook Surround 360 camera, announced past year, which is an open-source reference design featuring 17 synchronized cameras that you must build yourself.

Facebook F8, the company's annual developer conference, is now in full swing on its second and final day. But it's only now that the full scope of that technology has come to life.

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The x24 and its smaller counterpart, the x6, are the latest designs in the Facebook Surround 360 family.

As the name suggests, x24 consists of 24 cameras that capture videos from all possible angles.

The most impressive feature of these cameras, aside from their futuristic spherical design, is the ability to shoot 360° video with six degrees of freedom, also known as 6DoF. The lenses have been systematically placed to allow for maximum pixel overlap, this should help ensure that when content is stitched together - the most complicated part of the 360-degree process - those image lines are invisible. Facebook said that it won't sell the cameras directly, according to The Verge.

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Traditionally, when you view a video via your VR gear, you appear to be moving while your surroundings remain still.

With the x24 and x6, Facebook looks to have created far more high-end, retail focused products. To put it simply with the two new VR cameras you would feel as if you are actually in the video. The outcome is a more immersive VR experience. According to a report in Engadget, as of now, the company has no plans to bring this technology to the consumers.

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Facebook launches tool for capturing 360 video inside VR