Google Announces New 'Jump' Camera, 'Jump Start' Program

Elbert EdwardsApr 26, 2017

While Jump and hardware like the Yi Halo aren't the most accessible mass market products, they fit in with Google's larger strategy for VR. During the Jump Start program, the creators will also have free access to the Jump assembler. It's a monster camera rig content creators will flock instantly to. "When new Yi Halo unit camera hardware is released, simply replace the existing unit camera to upgrade the Yi Halo", the company says on its website.

In a blog post on Monday, April 24, Google made the announcement about the Yi Halo as well as the Jump Start program for virtual reality filmmakers.

For those who don't know Jump is Google's platform for VR production, which is centred around making VR video production much easier.

Google's JUMP team is announcing a new, virtual reality camera today that is smaller and lighter than its predecessors. The YI HALO camera has been built to natively work with the Assembler. It's high resolution, with the potential to shoot stereoscopic video in 8K resolution at 30 frames per second, or you can opt for 60fps at a "lowly" 5.8K resolution.

YI Technology and Google Unveil YI HALO at NAB 2017

The Yi 360 VR camera is yet another example of what the imaging company does best: deliver big specs and features at a very competitive price. It also has a smartphone app, a touchscreen control panel, and there are levels on the rig structure so filmmakers can line up the horizon. The camera weighs just around 170 grams and can be easily carried around by users. (IMAX is also working on a Jump-compatible camera setup, and Facebook has its own $25,000 and up solution in the Surround 360 rig.) The company is using modified versions of its 4K action camera to make up the Halo. It has a 100-minute battery life, pulling only 50 watts, but also works with AC and alternative power sources.

The Jump software makes half of Yi Halo. They'll receive free access to a Jump camera and unlimited use of the Jump Assembler over the next year. The Yi Halo isn't a VR camera for regular consumers, but geared at filmmakers and professionals, though it will go on sale in the summer, with some units being made available to a select group of creators.

The Yi Halo will cost $16,999 and will hit the United States first before Yi's home country of China.

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