CES 2017 kicked off the year 360-degree and VR capture could hit the mass market
Extremetech.com reports that for virtual reality, 2016 was definitely the year of the headset. Several high-end models finally shipped, and dozens of inexpensive smartphone-based versions. However, despite a major industry investment in content, there aren’t enough compelling experiences to drive large-scale adoption of the technology. This year may see that change, as CES 2017 featured a raft of new VR capture devices. Companies producing them are convinced that user-generated content can help jumpstart VR the way YouTube did online video. Out of the many we saw at the show, here’s a round up of some of the most interesting.
First: The 360 and VR terminology muddle
VR suffers from an incredible muddle of terminology. For starters, the term 360 is used for both 180-degree and 360-degree products. VR is also used to describe both 2D and 3D (stereo) capture devices. In this article, I’ll use the product names, but then call out its capability in terms of 180 or 360, and 2D or 3D. To me, VR is at a minimum 360-degree and 3D, although purists would argue even that isn’t enough, unless you can also move around in the experience. Similarly, resolution specs aren’t standardized. Some products give per camera, or per eye, specs, and some provide the overall resolution of the output image. Here too will do our best to make things clear. Now, on to the products: