Last year, light-field camera startup Lytro pivoted away from their struggling consumer camera business and redirected focus on their new light field VR camera for professionals, dubbing it the Immerge.
Now after almost a year since teasing the massive orb-shaped camera rig, Lytro is finally showing footage captured by Immerge for the first time.
The company unveiled a 30-second demo clip Tuesday showing a user experiencing footage from the new light field VR camera. The clip is a humorous take on the classic conspiracy theory that NASA faked the moon landing, showing you an astronaut taking that historic first step — only to be told by a whole film crew lurking in the shadows that there would be another take.
Lytro is touting today’s release as a historic day in VR, explaining that instead of simply allowing viewers to look around from a single point in space, viewers are able to move their heads around with 6 degrees of freedom (6DoF) for a more immersive experience. The company will be using the footage to show Hollywood studios, VR startups and other potential customers what its Immerge camera is capable of.
The Immerge VR camera is a 360-degree light field camera, which means it captures incoming light from all directions. This allows the you to shift your head around in a space just like one would in a real-world 3D environment, complete with the ability to look around objects, and see the light and reflection change depending on one’s vantage point. The technology Lytro is promising is a step forward from traditional VR camera rigs, but is a seated experience, not allowing you to walk around and move through the space of the VR experience like we’ve seen with game engine built animation shorts.
The “Moon” demo isn’t available for public viewing yet, but Lytro has released some behind-the-scenes looks at how Lytro captured the “volume” of the moon set:
There’s also a look at how some CGI was added to the real-world imagery captured by the Immerge VR camera: