360-degree video is becoming a big thing recently. Last month YouTube allowed viewers to click and drag videos recorded in the format, enabling them to survey their surroundings in immersive footage that enabled the likes of the MythBusters to provide a complete tour of a shipwreck. It’s impressive stuff, and the recently released 360fly camera is looking to expand upon the format by allowing users to engage with videos recorded using the device in virtual reality.
The 360fly is a spherical device which can capture 240 by 360 degrees of HD content with its single-lens camera. It essentially serves as the 360-degree answer to a GoPro camera, with it being depicted sitting on top of a helmet or on the handlebars of a bicycle like an action cam, though it has one very unique feature which serves to separate it from its peers: it’s compatible with virtual reality.
The 360fly can be paired with an iOS or Android device, with the mobile app’s “VR mode” then allowing these devices to connect with the $5 Google Cardboard VR Goggles, allowing the footage they’ve captured to be replayed in virtual reality. It’s not going to provide the same high-quality experience as you’d get with an Oculus Rift, sure, but there’s something incredibly compelling about recording your own footage and then watching it back in virtual reality.
A major advantage the 360fly has over its competitors is its affordability. Priced at just $399, it falls well below the price point of the likes of GoPro’s upcoming VR camera rig, which will launch for around $3,000. While you can expect higher quality from its competitors, when you combine the amount they’ll cost and then add on the amount you’ll have to fork out for the likes of an Oculus Rift, it’s not going to come cheap.
That could very well stand to be the case. Those looking to record 360-degree video on an affordable budget really have no excuse to look much further than the 360fly, and it also serves as an impressive introduction to virtual reality for those not looking to thrown down at least $4,000 to record their own footage in VR.