Happy New Year! Here are 12 wishes for 2022 for 360 cameras, VR and FPV. Some of them are what I expect to see, but I’ve also included things I wish to see (even if unlikely).
New cameras. In 2021, we didn’t see new 360 cameras for consumers. This year, we should see at least some, starting with the next Ricoh Theta (update: it’s here!). The question is, what will they offer above the currently available 360 cameras? I speculate that the improvements will be primarily about ease of use as opposed to image quality but we’ll see.
8K revisited. The Qoocam 8K had a lot of potential but it had issues that made it difficult to become truly popular among 360 enthusiasts. I hope that there will be another 360 camera that offers 8K quality at a reasonable price and with reliability.
In-camera stitching with stabilization. This is something I’ve wished for, for a long time. Most 360 cameras require their videos to be stitched in a phone or desktop app. There are a few 360 cameras that can produce 360 videos with in-camera stitching and stabilization such as Insta360 Pro 2, Pilot Era and Pilot One, but I’d love to see in-camera stitching with stabilization in a consumer camera as well. UPDATE: It’s happened!
VR and Metaverse
Meta Project Cambria (Oculus Quest Pro). Meta / Facebook showed a little bit of its next VR headset, the prosumer-oriented Project Cambria. It should have exciting new capabilities including higher resolution and mixed reality. I’m hoping it will become a much more affordable version of Varjo XR-3. Dear Meta, please let it be under $1000 and let it work with modest PC specs.
Playstation VR 2. PSVR 2 is probably coming in 2022. I am guessing that it will offer similar quality to PC VR but will be available to a wider audience, not just those who have VR-ready PCs.
Social VR. I hope to see more apps that make it easier to share VR experiences with our family and friends. Facebook is probably the closest to getting this done. They already had something similar to it with Oculus Rooms, which let people view 360 photos together with their friends, but they strangely killed that app. I hope it’s because they plan to bring back a much better version in 2022.
Google Metaverse. Google is sitting on one of the largest assets in the metaverse — Street View — yet it hasn’t aggressively developed it for the metaverse (aside from the Google Earth app). Perhaps Google has become disenchanted with the metaverse because of the failure of Google Daydream and Google Glass. But I’d love to see Google realize the tremendous potential of Street View for the metaverse by adding the ability to purchase products and services — all they have to do is add the same links that are available on Street View. I’d also love to see shared viewing (allowing multiple people to visit at the same time and see each other) so people can take their friends (and clients) on a guided tour of their favorite places.
Apple VR. I hope that Apple’s VR headset does get released this year and that it offers VR and AR capabilities. I hope it becomes so popular that VR truly becomes mainstream.
ExpressLRS. I believe that ExpressLRS will become mainstream in 2022 and I hope it becomes the dominant receiver protocol. Until now, the most common receiver has been Frsky, which has many issues, including short range. I hope that starting in 2022, ExpressLRS 2.4 becomes the most common receiver protocol offered in BNF quads and radios.
360 drones. I’m happy that we’re seeing more 360 drones such as the Pavo360 and Invisi360. In 2022, I hope to see a 360 drone that can use a thin camera such as the Insta360 One X2. Impossible? Not at all. There already is one, and I’m helping the designer find a manufacturer who’s interested in it.
Update to DJI. I’d like to see a DJI update that adds full featured OSD, similar to analog receivers, and if possible, lower and more consistent latency.
DJI alternative. OK this one is definitely just wishful thinking. DJI is great but the goggles are quite pricey. I hope there will be a more affordable option for DJI goggles. Caddx licensed the Air Unit to create the Vista so it’s not totally impossible…
How about you? What do you wish for in 2022? Let me know in the comments!