Facebook unveils the Surround 360 video camera

The world’s largest social media network has unveiled the Facebook Surround 360 video camera; the plans for which it will distribute for free to aid VR content creation.

We’ve already seen the likes of the high end Nokia Ozo camera which is aimed squarely at professional VR content creators; now, the world’s largest social network has unveiled the Facebook Surround 360 video camera; the plans for which it will distribute for free.
The Facebook Surround 360 video camera, which is reminiscent of a flying saucer, houses a 17 camera array and web-based software which is capable of capturing images in 360 degrees and stitching them together.
Read: Nokia‘s OZO camera will fetch a cool $60,000 USD
The camera features 14 wide-angle cameras around the circumference of the unit, with one fish-eye lens atop the unit and another underneath.
Facebook has openly lauded the Surround 360 as the best camera in its field, toting its ability to work for ‘many hours’ without overheating and further its compatibility with Samsung’s Gear VR, Oculus Rift, the Facebook app itself, and other platforms.
It would cost a whopping $30,000 USD to purchase the materials necessary to create the Facebook Surround 360 video camera; a price which actually undercuts the $60,000 USD Nokia Ozo.
Chris Cox, Facebook’s Chief Product Officer, has stated that the social network doesn’t have any interest in becoming a camera manufacturer and will publish the designs on Github later this year.
The move from Facebook sees an interesting play on VR content creation; while the company already owns Oculus Rift, distributing the design for the Surround 360 will offer a far more affordable means for VR content creators to publish their films on a myriad of platforms, especially Facebook’s own iOS, Android, Windows Phone and web presences.
Read: Nokia announces the 360-degree Ozo camera
What are your thoughts on Facebook’s Surround 360 video camera? Be sure to let us know in the comments below!
Follow Bryan Smith on Twitter: @bryansmithSA