Yi Halo VR Camera: Xiaomi-Backed Yi Technology Partners With Google to Launch VR Rig With 17 Cameras
Xiaomi-backed Chinese company Yi Technology earlier this year launched its Yi 4K+ action camera. Which was claimed by the company to be the first in camera market to capture 4K videos at 60 fps. Now the company has announced two new cameras. One is for professionals — it’s called the Yi Halo, and it was made in partnership with Google. The other is a consumer spherical camera called the Yi 360 VR.
The Yi Halo VR Camera comes with 17-camera units in total monster capable of shooting stereoscopic video in 8K resolution at 30 frames per second. It captured 5.8K at 60 frames per second. It was built to work with Jump, which is a high-end VR creation platform that Google launched in 2015. The core idea of Jump is to encourage VR filmmaking by removing some of the biggest barriers.
Google provides general blueprints for the ringed camera rig as well as server space for stitching all the high-resolution imagery together. And then gets to kick back while hardware companies and filmmakers create content to fill its budding Daydream VR platform. Yi Halo comes with support for various image quality settings including ISO, WB, EV, shutter, and flat colour. Yi is just the second company to build a rig for the platform — GoPro released the 16-camera Odyssey last year. The company is using modified versions of its 4K action camera to make up the Halo. And while it tops out at the same 8K resolution as the GoPro Odyssey, the ability to shoot 5.8K at 60 frames per second is unique.
“We designed the Yi Halo VR Camera to be modular and upgradeable. When new firmware is released, you can upgrade all cameras at once with just a few clicks on the control panel. In the unlikely event a Yi Halo unit camera is damaged in the field, simply replace it with one of the two included spare cameras. When new Yi Halo VR Camera unit camera hardware is released, simply replace the existing unit camera to upgrade the Yi Halo,” the company says on its website.
Yi Halo VR Camera Reviews and Specification
The Yi Halo VR Camera comes powered by 18 Ambarella A9SE75 chipset. . It comes with built-in Wi-Fi, sports a 2.2-inch LCD screen with 640×360 pixel resolution. The camera can able to record stereoscopic video in 8K resolution at 30 fps, and 5.8K at 60 fps. It packs with a battery which offers a life of 100 minutes in recording video. The Yi Halo has been priced by the company at $16,999 (roughly Rs. 10,93,000) and will be made available late summer this year.
Moving on to the Yi 360 VR, the consumer-centric camera, as the name suggests, it can record videos and pictures in 360-degrees. It is capable of recording videos with 5.7K resolution at 30 frames per second. The camera weighs just around 170 grams and can be easily carried around by users. The Yi 360 VR camera is powered by Ambarella H2V95 chipset and comes with two 12-megapixel Sony CMOS IMX377 sensors. It features Wi-Fi 802.11a/b/g/n/ac. And offers connectivity options including HDMI, USB 2.0 (Type-C) and micro SD card. Just like Yi Halo, Yi 360 VR can also be operated using a smartphone app as well.
Yi 360 VR Camera Reviews
According to Google’s blogpost, Yi Halo is light and more flexible, and weighs only 8 pounds, which is 3.62kgs. It has an internal battery, which can last for 100 minutes of continuous shooting, says the company. Yi Halo also comes with its own Android app which can be used to control the device and gives a live preview of the footage one is recording. The Yi Halo isn’t a VR camera for regular consumers, but geared at filmmakers and professionals, though it will go on sale in the summer, with some units being made available to a select group of creators.
Google also announced Jump Start project, which will give these Jump cameras and the free use of Jump Assembler to VR film creators. The program will give over 100 creators these tools in order to help them create VR content. The deadline to apply for this is May 22.
YI Technology announced the new YI 360 VR, a major step in making truly high-end virtual reality video easy and accessible to anyone who wants to create and share content. Scheduled to be released in June 2017, the YI 360-Degree VR action camera is available for early ordering now and will be on display at the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) show in Las Vegas, Nevada. It is a simple, handheld and mountable camera design. The YI 360 VR is the first VR camera to combine high-fidelity, 360-degree video capture, mobile application for easy use along with 4K instant, in-device stitching and 2.5K live-streaming to any sharing channel.
Price and availability of Yi Halo and Yi 360 VR camera:
The Yi Halo available this summer, and Yi 360 VR in the month of June this year. Company has priced this cameras at $16,999 (approx. Rs. 10, 93,000) and $399 (approx. Rs.25, 600) respectively.