Facebook and RED are partnering up for a high-resolution virtual reality camera aimed at creators, and Facebook’s plan is to push this camera for creators and film makers as the camera to use when creating content in 3D and virtual reality for its platform. This new camera from RED will take the place (in a sense) of Facebook’s own 360 VR camera that was announced two years ago called the Surround 360, a rig that didn’t come cheap as it would reportedly cost upwards of $30,000 if you followed the schematics that Facebook released with the original setup, though it’s worth noting that anyone wanting to build that camera should still be able to.
There’s been no announcement in regards to the cost of the camera that Facebook will be helping RED develop, but at the cost of Facebook’s original Surround 360 and considering the cost and quality of RED’s other equipment, it’s likely that it will end up costing quite a bit more than Facebook’s rig. At the moment there are also no details on a release date but Facebook has talked a little bit about what the camera will be capable of. It will come with support for Six Degrees of Freedom which means anyone viewing content in virtual reality that was recorded with this technology would be able to explore the surrounding content in real-time, making things that much more immersive for the viewer and keeping the content that much more engaging.
By partnering with RED Facebook looks to be reaching a point where it can direct VR down a path that will make it more mainstream for consumers, something which would bode well for Facebook-owned Oculus as it not only offers the Rift driven by the PC platform, but also just released the Oculus Go, a $200 headset that is now up for purchase on Oculus’ own website. While Facebook hasn’t shared any actual information about when the camera will be released or how much it will cost once launched, it’ll likely share more of that information as it gets closer to a launch date. For Facebook, it seems to have found a good partner for this particular endeavor as RED is well-known within the film making community and is highly regarded for many of its cameras, as well as upcoming devices like the RED Hydrogen ONE, RED’s first smartphone.