Google details Lenovo, Yi's VR180 cameras for spring launch

CES 2018: Move over traditional point and shoot, its VR180 camera time. Google and partners are out with a new set of cameras for capturing VR content.
Written by Jake Smith, Contributor

Google and partners on Tuesday announced a new set of VR180 cameras that can capture three-dimensional photos and videos in wide angle, ultra HD 4K resolution, to be viewed on VR headsets like Daydream. The Lenovo Mirage camera and Yi Technology's Horizon VR180 camera will hit stores this spring, and a camera from LG will be announced later this year.

Lenovo's Mirage camera uses dual-13 megapixel fisheyes cameras and 180- by 180-degree field of view to capture stereoscopic photos and video. Like other VR180 cameras, content can be uploaded directly to Google Photos or YouTube to be viewed with or without a VR headset.

Lenovo says the real benefit of its Mirage camera is there is no need for specialized camera skills; anyone can pick up the camera and capture VR content. Powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 626 platform, the Mirage camera also features Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and a microSD card slot expandable to 128GB of storage.

Aiming for the pro user, Yi's Horizon camera boasts live streaming ability for the VR180 format. It captures 5.7k resolution photos and video at 30fps and has a professional-grade 4 microphone design with outdoor noise reduction. Yi included a 2.2-inch, 640x360 retina touch screen for control of uploading content through the VR180 app from Google, and a USB-C port for HD data transmission.


There's no word on pricing or specific availability for either Lenovo or Yi's VR180 cameras. When Google teased both cameras in the past, it said they will be "as easy to use as point-and-shoot cameras, for around the same price".

Google introduced the VR180 format at its Google I/O conference in June. Relying heavily on Google's YouTube, the VR180 format is focused on reducing the barrier of entry to creating VR content and sharing it with the world.

Google wrote in June:

VR180 videos focus on what's in front of you, are high resolution, and look great on desktop and on mobile. They transition seamlessly to a VR experience when viewed with Cardboard, Daydream, and PSVR, which allow you to view the images stereoscopically in 3-D, where near things look near, and far things appear far.

There are still no details about the teased LG VR180 camera.

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