When you think cutting-edge video, Facebook isn’t usually the first name that comes to mind. But the ever-growing, ever-present social-media behemoth is trying its hardest to push into new territories when it comes to video. Facebook has gotten a lot of attention recently (for better or for worse) over its live-streaming video service. And the company isn’t stopping there.
At last month’s F8 developer conference, Facebook showed off its new Surround 360-degree camera, and announced that the software developer kit for the camera would be open source. Facebook is obviously hoping that the open-source approach will lead to quick adoption of the camera’s features, allowing Facebook app developers to implement the camera in intriguing ways.
The camera itself is round and is equipped with 24 individual cameras that cover the Surround 360-degree spectrum. The camera’s circular design will allow it to be mounted on a pole or stand that’ll keep it from taking video of itself (none of the cameras will be able to “see” each other), creating a pure 360-degree video experience. Presumably, Facebook apps will allow users to turn, pan, and tilt 360-degree videos, similar to how Facebook’s current panoramic photo feature works.
No word yet on when the Surround 360 camera will be available for purchase, or how much it’ll cost. But if the camera hits the market with a hefty price tag (which seems pretty likely), it’s doubtful 360-degree video will take off as fast as Facebook would like.