At the F8 Developer Conference Facebook presented a camera that is of great interest for Virtual Reality. The Facebook Surround 360 degree camera that takes pictures and can render them online via a web-based software.
Even more suprising, Facebook will not to sell the camera system but published the design and plans in the summer on GitHub and thus make available to everyone for free as an open source project. Also the necessary software will be offered for free by Facebook.
The camera system has 17 cameras, and thus consists of more cameras, than the open source Google Jump camera rig.
A camera with a fisheye lens looks upwards and two cameras look downwards, the remaining cameras are arranged in a circle around the arrangement and have a wide-angle lens. According to Facebook, the camera creates real spherical video with this technology.
Thanks to the many cameras this could be more than just an advertising promise, as the system can provide stereoscopic images (3D images). Each camera has a resolution of only 4.1 megapixels and a 1-inch sensor.
The Web-based software can piece the pictures together from the entire image material and create videos in 4K, 6K and 8K.
The software of Facebook is said to support working some different camera rigs, which have a similar structure.
Even if the whole project is open-source, such a device is of course not free. Facebook says that you have to plan on about $ 30,000 for a replica.
But in comparision to the OZO camera from Nokia this is still a bargain. Nokia wants $ 60,000 for OZO camera.
Atleast for this price, you will receive but a functioning system and do not have to cobble together itself there.