The blending of the physical and digital worlds has arrived, with 3D scanning, virtual reality, and additive manufacturing forming a complete 3D ecosystem. However, while 3D scanning and printing allow us to create and manipulate objects, emerging technologies are pointing to 360° virtual and augmented reality (AR/VR) as entirely new ways to record, experience and share life itself – from extreme sports to family vacations and distant environments.
Earlier this year, we brought up the range of mixed reality devices hitting the mass market. VR headsets and even smartphones can can give us greater freedom to interact with digital worlds, making computing more intuitive and manufacturing more fluid.
Today, a new entrant has joined the virtual reality pack, offering even more freedom and ease of use for everyday consumers: the ORBI Prime 360° video-recording sunglasses, for hands-free recording and instant sharing of life’s 3D adventures.
Experience, Record, and Share
ORBI Prime has launched today on Indiegogo, with a flexible target of $75,000. It is marketed as the ‘world’s first 360° video-recording eyewear’, and features four cameras, proprietary video-stitching and mobile editing software, audio capture, micro-USB charging, and built-in WiFi for instant social media sharing. Users can also upload and share their videos to Oculus Rift or other VR headsets.
“In surveying the pain points of current action camera users, we realized there wasn’t a truly hands-free and high-quality option available,” said Iskander Rakhmanberdiyev, Co-Founder and CEO of ORBI. “So we designed something that is not only incredibly powerful, but also aesthetically pleasing, comfortable, and easy to use.”
In terms of hardware, these 360° video recording sunglasses are made from durable polycarbonate frames and polarized lenses for comfort. (And, I should mention, style. Forget trying to flaunt a bulky helmet in public.) Most importantly, because this is a wearable device, there is no need for mounts, rigs, or any hand-holding whatsoever. This is perhaps the defining feature setting ORBI Prime apart from other 360° cameras on the market (including the 360fly, Samsung Gear 360, and higher-end Nokia OZO and GoPro Odyssey.)
Software-wise, the ORBI Prime boasts video-stabilization technology and video stitching up to 30 frames per second for smooth and natural viewing. Desktop and mobile editing allow quick customization, live preview (on iOS and Android) and direct sharing to family and friends.
Indeed, with more and more ubiquitous platforms supporting 3D and 360° content – including Sketchfab, Facebook, and YouTube – the mixed reality era is nearly ready to burst. Not to mention that beyond recording and sharing everyday experiences, such as football games, concerts, and vacations, ORBI Prime and other AR/VR/mixed reality devices could easily be used for commercial applications, including real estate, 3D mapping, education, advertising, and 3D modeling and printing.
ORBI, the company behind the campaign, has moved beyond prototyping and mechanical design, and plans to deliver its first batch of Prime glasses as early as August 2017. Rewards begin at $299 for super early birds, and the ORBI Prime’s retail price is expected to be around $650 – which is quite competitive with existing 360° cameras.
Lying somewhere between the overly-ambitious Google Glass project and Snap Inc’s intriguing yet potentially fad-worthy Spectacles, these 360° video recording sunglasses are an interesting – and achievable – take on the tech-enhanced eyewear trend. It should be noted that as with other video-recording technologies, privacy will likely be a concern. Time will tell how users, developers, and policy makers will deal with that.
Check out the ORBI Prime Indiegogo campaign and get ready to experience immersive, mixed reality before your very eyes.