As the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) 2017 got in to full swing, Xiaomi-backed Chinese company YI quickly took advantage of the momentum by announcing something huge. Sean Da, CEO of YI Technologies Inc. unveiled the new YI HALO VR Camera in partnership with Google (Jump); a 3D – 360 degree professional VR camera capable of shooting in 8K resolution. YI say it’s their most advanced 360 camera to date, which at first glance isn’t so hard to believe. Most 360 cameras have two sensors, front and back, but the YI HALO VR has a total of 17 clock-synchronized action cameras (16 surrounding and 1 up view) which have been created by the same team behind the award winning YI 4K Action Camera and the YI 4K+. It’s an insane design that will probably take the most detailed 360 images we’ve ever seen.
YI Halo VR Camera
The YI HALO was developed in partnership with Google and was built to work with Jump Assembler, which together can produce high quality stereo VR content in up to 8K x 8K resolution. This is then stitched together by the Google Jump Assembler team. It really sounds like an exciting addition for the VR industry, especially as it’s the first Jump Assembler camera to have an up view camera, meaning you’ll have a more complete field-of-view. Before you get too excited… it might be worth noting that you have to register your interest before you can buy a YI HALO. The registration will need to be overseen by YI and the team at Google before you’re allowed to own one. Even then, the cost is a lot to swallow at $16,999.
Here is a sneak peak of YI Halo: https://youtu.be/FAtdv94yzp4
It seems like YI really haven’t missed a thing in the creation of the YI HALO, claiming they’ve used the most advanced technology in every aspect including its passive thermal design allowing it to operate in warm environments, and with each camera built with the advanced low power Ambarella A9SE75 SOC, YI Technology states that it can work in temperatures up to 95ºF, without overheating, that’s hot!
VR filmmakers can stay in full control with the LCD control screen and an accompanying app, available on Android. Full compatibility with Jump’s high-end VR creation platform, gives filmmakers a peace of mind when it comes to the biggest barrier between VR filming and high-quality post-production; the stitching.
If any of this sounds remotely familiar that’s because last year GoPro released the Odyssey, a 16 camera rig also built for Google’s Jump. Like the GoPro Odyssey the YI HALO can shoot in 8K resolution, though the up-view camera and its ability to shoot 5.8K at 60fps is what sets it apart. YI are proving to be a real problem for GoPro as last month they also released the YI 4K+, which is the first action camera that can shoot in 4K at 60fps, a feature that GoPro fans have been eager for since the HERO 4.
YI 360 VR Camera
In typical YI fashion, they wanted to please everyone, which is why they also announced a new high-end (and relatively low-priced) 360 camera named YI 360 VR. YI came prepared to NAB with a full list of specs on the YI 360 VR camera, which includes dual 220 degree lenses and two SONY IMX377 image sensors. Its Ambarella H2V95 SOC can process the high quality 5.7K videos, into the most vivid images. It’s priced at $399 and will be available to purchase in June (2017).
To find out more about YI HALO and YI 360 VR camera visit www.yitechnology.com