VR for everyone. Buddy-up two smartphones and the Camarada app does the rest
Virtual Reality is slowly establishing itself as a new way to produce immersive experiences, although creating VR content has so far proved to be generally quite pricey.
Now, technology enthusiasts with a light pocket are finally offered a new way to experiment with the exciting possibilities of VR.
The new mobile app Camarada is challenging the latest frontier of DIY Virtual Reality video production.
The app, created by four-person startup, Aimfire, allows users to produce their own VR content simply using two smartphones.
It differs from apps such as Google Cardboard Camera in that it is not limited to the production of static 3D panorama pictures, but also creates 3D pictures of dynamic scenes and high-definition, stereoscopic 3D Virtual Reality videos.
In substance, the final product should be a lot more immersive than a static panorama picture.
The app is being tooled to be device agnostic - it is already on Google Play and slated for imminent release on the Appstore - and, even if the two smartphones shooting the video are different, it should automatically adjust to produce a consistent result.
It also employs Computer Vision algorithms that allow users to simply point at something and shoot their video, while Camarada automatically works on fixing imperfections.
Camarada is a cheap, Do It Yourself alternative to expensive VR shooting equipment or multi-camera products such as GoPro Odyssey and Nokia Ozo, which most curious amateurs wishing to experiment with VR are going to struggle to afford.
"The lack of user generated content is a big pain point for virtual reality," said Joe Sofio, cofounder of Aimfire, in a statement. "Professional-grade VR cameras are designed for Hollywood and way out-of-reach for the mass market. Camarada allows anyone to capture and share VR video with their smartphones, for free.
"The stunning 3D videos it creates rival those created with specialized cameras that cost hundreds, even thousands of dollars."
The app makes the production of VR content easy and accessible, turning nearby smartphones into dynamic camera arrays and helping to synchronize and link smartphone cameras in the vicinity.
Big plans for the full panorama
Using two smartphones, Camarada currently achieves videos with a field of range of roughly 180 degrees, but Aimfire is working on a feature that should soon expand this to a 360 degrees field of range, by using more phones.
Realistically speaking, Camarada sounds more like a 'fun thing' to try out with your friends than something to do on your own (we can hardly imagine someone who would buy or borrow several phones to shoot a 360 degree VR video at the mountains).
Create, create, create
Yet it is innovative in extending VR video shooting beyond professionals and owners of specialized equipment. And here's the rub; opening up any technology to young, fertile, creative minds is always going to be a Good Thing. It thrives and prospers.
"Camarada truly democratizes VR content creation for the masses. We believe the most powerful application of VR is preserving and reliving our true memories, and sharing them with our loved ones," said Sofio.
The app is already available for free on the Google Play Store and should be soon arriving on the App Store, too.