Lytro Immerge: Company Focuses on Cinematic Virtual Reality Creation
Earlier this week, Lytro announced a new product which takes the company into a new direction: The Lytro Immerge [link updated to local copy, since Lytro went offline] is a futuristic-looking sphere with five rings of light field cameras and sensors to capture the entire light field volume of a scene. The resulting video will be compatible with major virtual reality platforms and headsets such as the Oculus Rift, and allow viewers to look around anywhere from the Immerge’s fixed position, providing an immersive, 360 degree live-action experience.
Lytro Immerge is the world’s first professional Light Field solution for cinematic VR, providing lifelike presence for live action VR through Six Degrees of Freedom. It is built from the ground up to seamlessly blend live action and computer graphics (CG) using Light Field data. With configurable capture and playback solutions, it supports a range of new immersive storytelling needs.
The Immerge is Lytro’s foray into the professional virtual reality sector and, in the words of CEO Jason Rosenthal, the “future of the company”. Meanwhile, the existing end-user camera line will still be sold and supported.
The new device is currently in testing, and full specs will be available in 2016.
See below for an official presentation video and the full press release:
Lytro Immerge: The World’s First Professional Light Field Solution for Cinematic VR
- Delivers Lifelike Presence for Live Action VR through Six Degrees of Freedom
- Provides Unparalleled Creative Freedom for Immersive Storytellers
- Built from the Ground up to Blend Live Action and Computer Graphics
- Configurable Capture and Playback to Support a Wide Range of VR Storytelling Needs
MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif., (Nov. X, 2015) – Lytro Immerge is the world’s first professional Light Field powered solution to provide lifelike presence in VR with Six Degrees of Freedom (6DoF), addressing the challenges of live action immersive storytelling. Built from the ground up to seamlessly blend live action and computer graphics (CG), it features configurable capture and playback options. Watch a video about Lytro Immerge at https://lytro.com/immerge#video.
“Everybody is talking about Light Fields and nobody fully understands the potential yet. Light Field technology is probably going to be at the core of most narrative VR,” said Aaron Koblin, Cofounder and CTO of Vrse. “At Vrse, we’re just waiting for the moment when we have the tools. I think both the capture and playback of Light Fields will be the future of cinematic virtual reality.”
Lytro Immerge captures Light Field Volume – all the data from all directions at any location within a given volume – allowing virtual views to be generated from any point, facing any direction, with any field of view. This approach creates a breakthrough sense of presence and enables a 6DoF live action VR experience, previously only possible in CG VR experiences.
“VR is the next wave in cinematic content, and immersive storytellers have been seeking technology that allows them to fully realize their creative vision,” said Jason Rosenthal, CEO of Lytro. “We believe the power of Light Field will help VR creators deliver on the promise of this new medium. Lytro Immerge is an endtoend Light Field solution that will provide all the hardware, software and services required to capture, process, edit and playback professionalgrade cinematic content.”
Lytro Immerge is the first end-to-end VR hardware and software solution, built from the groundup for professional storytellers. The system is comprised of four main components:
- Camera: Configurable dense Light Field camera array
- Server: Storage and processing
- Light Field Editor: Integrates with existing visual effects tools like Nuke
- Player: Light Field video playback engine for leading VR headsets and platforms
When using Lytro Immerge, professional content creators will benefit from unique advantages and unprecedented capabilities:
- Precise visual perspectives from any (supported) point of view
- Seamless capture that requires no stitching
- Capture once, playback on any device (optimized for highend headsets, but works with mobile)
- Accurate horizontal and vertical parallax
- Depth information in every frame
- Supports any interocular baseline after capture
- Highly configurable based on production (e.g., 360°, 180°, parallax, spherical, etc.)
Lytro Immerge sets a new bar for the production of cinematic VR content. It packs the results of eight years of Light Field research, a revolutionary new Light Field processing engine, modular data capture and processing architecture, and a custom capture rig to turn immersive cinematic storytelling with 6DoF into a reality. For more information on Lytro Immerge, visit www.lytro.com/immerge .
Lytro is building the world’s most powerful light field imaging platform enabling artists, scientists and innovators to pursue their goals with an unprecedented level of freedom and control. This revolutionary technology developed by Lytro will unlock new opportunities for photography, cinematography, mixed reality, scientific and industrial application. For additional information, visit Lytro.com.