You will soon have the ability to capture a space not just in 360 but in true virtual reality with six degrees of freedom (6DOF means you’ll be able to walk around not just jump between nodes, using a VR headset such as an Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, or Microsoft Mixed Reality headset). What’s more, you’ll be able to do it with a 360 camera that costs just $199, the Giroptic iO. UPDATE: Now you can see the 3D model yourself!
Giroptic iO is a user-friendly 360 camera for iOS and Android smartphones that features realtime stitching, image stabilization, live streaming and the unique capability to make 360 video calls. Soon, you’ll also be able to use it to capture a 3D model of a space in which you can walk around and explore in VR with full six degrees of freedom.
Yesterday early morning, I had a video conference with Giroptic’s CEO Richard Ollier and CPO Matthieu Grosselin. They revealed a project that they have been secretly developing for the last 2 years (on top of their other projects): a proprietary software for converting 360 photos from the Giroptic iO into a 3D model. They showed me a video of the capabilities of their system. In this demo, Giroptic created a VR model of a space with just thirty 360 photos from the Giroptic iO.
UPDATE: Giroptic has made the 3D model available for inspection. Here is the 3D model uploaded to Sketchfab (use your mouse scroll wheel to move forward or backward):
According to Richard and Matthieu, the photographer simply took 30 photos, then uploaded them to cloud servers for processing. The software generates the 3D model, and can even automatically remove the photographer from the VR model, even though the 360 photos had the photographer in them. They also showed me a few other models, that had similarly detailed 3D point clouds.
Although photogrammetry has been around for a few years, this system is revolutionary in its ease of use, low cost, and accessibility. It is simple enough for anyone to use, and is pretty much automatic.
Giroptic said they haven’t finalized how they want to release this software to the market, so they’re looking for your feedback. How do you plan to use this amazing capability? Let me know in the comments! Meanwhile, if you’d like to buy Giroptic iO, it’s available on Amazon:
Giroptic iO for iOS
Giroptic iO for Android (choose Micro USB or USB Type C)
BTW Giroptic is giving away seven special edition Giroptic iO cameras with red brackets. Enter the contest here.