GoPro's recent acquisition of Kolor is an indication of the company's serious intentions when it comes to creating immersive video.
360 degree video is nothing new and it is quickly gaining ground as a great way to present subjects, such as building fly-throughs and even helicopter rides. YouTube already has the ability to show 360 degree videos at up to 4K resolution.
There are mounts currently available to allow multiple GoPros to be combined to record a 360 degree experience, but now GoPro has thrown its hat in the ring with its acquisition of French company Kolor.
Kolor produces software that stitches together the outputs from the cameras into a seamless 360 degree view. Its acquisition, combined with GoPro's new 360 degree frames for mounting multiple cameras, means that the company will have an all-in-one solution to this increasingly common form of video.
It's not perhaps a groundbreaking announcement (since users have already been using Kolor's software to perform 360 degree stitching), however it does show the intention of GoPro to make the creation and distribution of ever more immersive videos much more straightforward and simple to do.
(Note: you need to use Chrome to view this video. Use the WASD keys to control the angle)
Full Press Release
GoPro To Acquire Kolor, A Leader In Virtual Reality and Spherical Media Solutions
GoPro Demos "Land, Air and Sea" VR Experience
SAN MATEO, Calif., April 28, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- GoPro, Inc. (NASDAQ:GPRO), enabler of some of today's most engaging content, today announced an agreement to acquire Kolor, a leader in virtual reality and spherical media solutions. All Kolor employees will join GoPro and will maintain operations at their headquarters in Savoie, France.
Spherical media enables a range of immersive viewing experiences and is an essential building block of virtual reality (VR), a technology poised to transform entertainment, education and other industries. Kolor's solutions enable users to combine multiple photographs or videos to produce high-resolution panoramic or spherical content that can be enjoyed on mobile devices, the web or in a virtual reality environment.
"We are excited to welcome Kolor to GoPro," said Nicholas Woodman, GoPro's founder and CEO. "GoPro's capture devices and Kolor's software will combine to deliver exciting and highly accessible solutions for capturing, creating and sharing spherical content."
GoPro's "Land, Air and Sea" spherical video demonstrates what's possible with a few GoPros combined with Kolor's software. Check it out on these platforms:
Mobile Devices: Download Kolor's 360 Video Player (Kolor Eyes) from the App Store (iOS) or Google Play (Android)
Virtual Reality Experience: Download Kolor's 360 Video Player (above) and use with Cardboard (https://www.google.com/get/cardboard/get-cardboard.html)
From your PC or Mac over the web: www.gopro.com/spherical
YouTube 360 (on the web using Chrome only): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pMBDA-Our4w&feature=youtu.be
"Land, Air and Sea" and other spherical videos from GoPro will soon be available on other VR platforms such as Oculus VR and Samsung Gear VR.
"Kolor's mission is to enable the ultimate visual experience - to transport an audience to another time and space. Joining GoPro makes this possible," said Alexandre Jenny, CEO of Kolor. "When the best spherical media software is combined with the world's most versatile capture devices, our imagination become our only limitation. We're excited to see what the world captures and shares with GoPro and Kolor."
About GoPro, Inc. (NASDAQ:GPRO) GoPro, Inc. is transforming the way people capture and share their lives. What began as an idea to help athletes self-document themselves engaged in their sport has become a widely adopted solution for people to capture themselves engaged in their interests whatever they may be. From extreme to mainstream, professional to consumer, GoPro enables the world to capture and share its passion. And in turn, the world has helped GoPro become one of the most exciting and aspirational companies of our time.
For more information, visit www.gopro.com or connect with GoPro on YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest or LinkedIn.
GOPRO® and HERO® are trademarks or registered trademarks of GoPro Inc. in the United States and other countries.