As some of our readers might recall, last year during Google I/O 2015, the Internet giant announced its plans to join the 360-degrees VR video content creation scene with a professional contraption built in collaboration with GoPro. In fact, the product came to be known as the GoPro Odyssey, and earlier in September 2015, GoPro announced that prospective customers can pay $15,000 for joining the early access program. Now, after some delays caused by the simple fact that the Odyssey wasn’t ready in time, the GoPro Odyssey is finally shipping to a handful of companies who have previously joined the early access program.
The GoPro Odyssey is, quite obviously, a professional 360-degree camera solution, and the $15,000 price tag reflects this particular market segment rather clearly. With that being said, while GoPro did not reveal how many companies have applied for early access and how many of them are now receiving the Odyssey, the action camera manufacturer did mention a handful of virtual reality production companies from its customers list, including Two Bit Circus, VRSE, WEVR, Surreal, and Specular Theory. For those of you who may not be familiar with the GoPro Odyssey’s hardware, the spaceship-like contraption features 16 GoPro Hero 4 Black cameras (valued at roughly ~$8,000) held together by a giant wheel developed by Google, called the Jump VR array. The system is also equipped with a microphone, a 64 GB microSD card for each camera, cables, and a Pelican case. Evidently, the price also includes access to Google’s servers where 360-degree VR content will be processed and stitched together.
GoPro and Google are not the only companies to work on professional 360-degree video recording solutions. In a rather unexpected move, last year in July Nokia took the veil off its first 360-degree virtual reality camera called OZO, which is accompanied by a much larger price tag compared to the Odyssey's. The Nokia OZO costs a whopping $60,000, but this hasn’t prevented the Walt Disney Studios from buying it and becoming one of the very first filmmakers to use the Finnish company’s 360-degree camera setup for VR content creation, including promotional content for The Jungle Book 2016 movie.