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May 19, 2016

Google is working with IMAX on a cinema-quality 3D camera

by John_A

Remember last year’s I/O, when Google revealed JUMP? It was a VR content creation system consisting of a camera rig made of 16 GoPros (called, appropriately, the “Odyssey”) and some incredibly smart cloud-based processing and sharing software. Now, a year later, Google’s Clay Bavor revealed at the company’s developer conference that Hollywood was fascinated by JUMP too — that’s why Google’s working on a cinema-quality 3D camera rig in partnership with IMAX.

“IMAX, of course, is known for incredibly immersive capture and audio,” Bavor said. “And they’re going to be bringing their decades of experience with camera design, optics, sensors and more to JUMP.”

There was no indication about when the fruit of Google’s and IMAX’s efforts would see the light of day, or even how far along the two have come. Still, it’s hard not to get excited about what this partnership could mean. Bavor rightfully pointed out how stunning good at audio and video capture IMAX can be, and that expertise should propel mobile VR experiences (like the ones Google is building as part of its Daydream project) further than we’ve seen. That’s not to say VR video efforts have been altogether lacking; we’ve seen cinematic, 360-degree projects before. The Fast and the Furious and Star Trek director Justin Lin tried his hand at one of Google’s Spotlight Stories last year, and with any luck, Google and IMAX’s work could make that sort of high production value VR video the rule, not the exception.

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