There is a new piece of technology being released and rolled out that is going to change the way consumers produce and view their home videos! At the time of writing this blogpost there aren't any real contenders for the consumer market in terms of products, but in the coming year we are expecting to see it come to life with loads of different brand names! As you can read from the title, i am writing about 360 video!
You might not know what 360 video means or maybe you just stumbled across a 360 video on Facebook or YouTube lately. Both of these massive consumer services are already supporting this new type of 360 video for anyone that has the piece of tech that's needed to make it. So what is this 360 video? It is, as you probably guessed, video that is filmed and played in full 360 degree view. If your viewing it on a computer you can use your mouse to drag across the footage as it's being played, its almost like your there and can look around the environment. If you're watching it on a phone you can either scroll with your finger or use the phones accelerometer to physically turn yourself and your phone around in 360 degrees to see the whole footage. Below is an example of a 360 degree video shot by Casey Neistat in collaboration with Discovery VR(virtual reality). Its unfortunately not supported by Safari computer browsers so you will have to view it on your phone or on Chrome/Firefox. You might also need a solid internet connection to view the video in its full 4K resolution, i recommend you select at least 1080p from the options.
You might be wondering if this isn't just some hype that will wear off and die. The reason I think this is going to be the next big thing isn't because I think all video in the future will be shown this way or even that traditional movies will be shot in this style. Its because we are seeing that the two biggest consumer websites for uploading your own content are going all inn and implementing this technology on their services even before the consumer products for shooting 360 are out on the market. At this point the options for 360 are either a 4 camera+ GoPro rig that would set you back at least 1500GBP or the Ricoh Theta (https://theta360.com/en/) which is around 300GBP but with a clear disadvantage when it comes to video quality. The reason the GoPro has become the best selling consumer camera is because of the immense video quality it produces and the fact it is so versatile and durable. GoPro has yet to launch a 360 camera for the consumer market that is one device at a consumer price, but this is something I am expecting to see in the coming year.
One of the major high end DSLR producers, Nikon, Launched their 360 concept at the CES convention in Las Vegas earlier this year. It is called the Nikon KeyMission 360 (http://www.nikonusa.com/en/nikon-products/action-cameras/index.page) and is a water and shockproof device that produces a 360 degree. There are rumours that the price of it will be around 500$ but this isn't confirmed by Nikon themselves yet. This is the first real consumer product i can see being popular for producing 360 videos. This is because of its small and easy form factor and its ease of use. Nikon has also said they will be releasing more cameras in the 360 category. Could Nikon be GoPros biggest competitor in the future of consumer video?
The way I imagine people to be using these cameras is everything from video of extreme sports to family style videos opening presents with at Christmas. Just imagine a camera that shoots everything around you, without you needing to move it, meaning you wont need to edit in several camera angles, and you can basically look back at it and relive the moment in even greater detail. Being from the north of Norway I know that a lot of people up there are using GoPro cameras to shoot their downhill skiing decent. Imaging being able to shoot the sunset, your mate next to you, yourself and the line you have chosen in front of you all at the same time! That's a pretty unheard of experience that will be brought to the consumers. Previously you would have to own a few different GoPro cameras attached to different parts of your body and then edit it together afterwards before uploading it to achieve the same results.
The conclusion is that i think this will be the next big thing in consumer cameras because of the simplicity of shooting and uploading. Some challenges that could stop the trend is if its made too difficult for the average consumer to understand! But definitely look out for this awesome technology in the future!