Google Announces Yi Halo Next Generation 360-Degree VR Camera

Google just announced its latest 360° VR camera, the “Yi Halo”, which is reportedly the company's “next generation Jump camera”. The Yi Halo is the brainchild of Google and Yi, a company owned by Xiaomi.

Google had previously collaborated with GoPro to make the Odyssey, but turned to one of GoPro’s competitor for its latest creation. Google and Yi also worked with film creators from the get-go in order to get their input.
YI Halo 1
The Yi Halo boasts seventeen different Yi 4K cameras with sixteen along the circumference and one in the middle. The cameras can produce 8K x 8K stereoscopic VR content at 30fps and 6K x 6K content at 60 frames per second. The camera in the center is placed as low as possible to produce more seamless films. Emily Price, a Jump product manager, noted, “The upward-facing camera's view of the world is pretty different from the cameras on the main ring. If it were on top, it doesn't stitch as smoothly as you'd like.”

Users will be able to download an Android app for the device that works as a remote control and provides live previews. The app will be able to adjust features like ISO, white balance, and flat color mode. Users will also be able to download firmware directly from the app or touch screen panel.

According to Price, “The camera was designed with the software in mind”. The “Jump Assembler”  can take the seventeen different inputs and combine them into one 360° image. The stitching is automated and only takes a few hours as opposed to a few weeks. The device also can provide time-lapse mode, automatic depth map generation, and crisp focus.

To top everything off, the Yi Halo is particularly light for a 360° VR device -- the rig only weighs in at 7.7 lbs. There is also a built-in battery that can provide up to 100 minutes of footage (it can accommodate third-party batteries as well). 

The Yi Halo will ring in at $16,999 USD, however, some content creators may be able to snag one for free. Google is offering one hundred filmmakers access to its program “Jump Start”, which will give them free access to one Yi Halo and use of Jump Assembler. The deadline is May 22nd and interested content creators can sign-up here.