A Cupertino-based company Altia Systems took to CES to reveal the PanaCast 2s and the PanaCast 3D VR Kit, a camera system and a technology designed for recording and broadcasting 180-degree virtual reality content in 4K resolution. The PanaCast 3D VR Kit is hailed as the first commercial system of its kind and is aimed at smaller production companies and successful content creators. The kit is already available to early adopters for $2,795, while its commercial launch will happen by spring. The PanaCast 2s camera system consists of a camera and a complimentary software package called the PanaCast Computer Vision Engine (PCVE) which supports both Windows and macOS. The camera itself sports a $995 price tag, while its software is only available for a yearly subscription fee of $295. Both the camera and PCVE are slated to be released by late March.
The PanaCast 3D VR Kit utilizes real-time content stitching to deliver 4K VR broadcasts of 180-degree content. While it's powered by highly advanced technologies, the product itself is allegedly incredibly simple to use, as Altia Systems' representatives said that users can simply point their camera and shoot any scene they want to broadcast. Even though this technology was primarily designed to process 180-degree content in real-time, the PanaCast 3D VR Kit can also be used to stream content thanks to its support for numerous platforms like YouTube 360 and Facebook Live.
The PanaCast 2s is a 7.4-megapixel video camera system for recording 180-degree panoramic videos. Altia Systems claims that the camera's 4K capabilities ensure it's a significant upgrade over the last year's PanaCast 2. The camera supports 5x lossless digital zoom, meaning you can zoom into any scene by up to five times without experiencing a significant loss in image quality. The PanaCast 2s also sports a field of view that's 180 degrees wide and 54 degrees tall, so it's more than suitable for broadcasting high-quality VR content. The system boasts support for all major streaming apps, as well as contemporary VR headsets like the Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, and the Google Daydream. While not cheap by any means, Altia Systems is hoping that its two new solutions will attract successful content creators looking to take their artistic vision to the next level.