We went along to Nikon’s sales launch event for its KeyMission action camera series where the company explained that VR is the future…
VR (short for virtual reality) is one of those buzz words that’s been popping into conversations, press releases and tech presentations more and more over the last few years.
And while at first it seemed to centre upon a desire to make computer games increasingly realistic, it’s now becoming about creating ‘immersive video’.
But what does that mean? Essentially it’s shooting video that makes the viewer feel like they are in the scene and they can control what they’re looking at. That means creating 360 degree video and providing viewing devices that allow you to alter your view.
In some cases the latter can be done by donning a headset or slotting your smartphone into a holder to make a headset. Motion detectors then monitor your head movements, changing the view almost as if you’re there rather than watching a video.
Nikon’s first venture into the VR world is lead by the KeyMission 360, a camera with two lenses (one facing forwards and the other backwards) that enable it to record 360 degree video.
So far the footage I’ve seen looks good, but we’ve just received a review sample and we’ll be able to comment more fully on it in the near future.
The KeyMission 360 is designed to be easy to use, enabling anyone to produce interesting videos of their adventures. And instead of having to shoot sequences from a range of angles to create dynamic footage, the camera can be mounted in one place and the viewer decides which direction to look in.
With it mounted on the handlebars of a mountain bike, for example, you can choose to look forwards along the route ahead, back towards the cyclist, or to either side to see the countryside flying by. Alternatively, the footage can be edited into ‘standard’ clips, switching between angle to create a more interesting movie.
There are lots of other potential applications for VR cameras. Having one in the centre of your living room for example, could transform Skype or FaceTime conversions.
While VR is set to grow in significance, with some experts claiming that it will be bigger than television by 2025, Tim Carter, Senior Product Manager at Nikon UK says that it’s only part of the future for Nikon.
The company will continue as a photographic and optics company. It will however, play a part in the future of VR, providing cameras that enable high quality content to be created.