Despite its appearance, the Lytro Immerge is not, in fact, a futuristic tesla coil super-weapon. It’s completely harmless, for one thing, but it does sound almost as impressive.
Like the company’s existing Illum camera, the Immerge uses Light Field technology to simultaneously capture multiple focal points, letting you shift the depth of focus after an image has been captured.
The Immerge, however, takes this technology to a whole new level. It’s a pro-grade camera, designed to capture up to full 360°Light Field footage, for use in VR movies and games.
The inner workings of the rig system remain a secret for the time being, but it’s safe to say that it’s littered with multiple Light Field cameras, capable of capturing a lot of data, from any given direction.
Unlike existing 360° VR recording solutions which tend to use hacked-together GoPros, the Immerge was built from scratch for this very purpose, bringing with it a host of useful features.
There’s no stitching, for starters, which means no more jarring transitions while looking around a virtual environment. As each frame also has full depth information at its disposal, users will also be able to enjoy accurate parallax effects.
Hold a finger in front of your face, and move your head from side to side. Notice how the background is moving a lot slower in relation to your finger? That’s the parallax effect in action, and it offers more immersion.
As with the company’s previous still cameras, shots and footage can be manipulated post-capture, as all the necessary information is taken and stored in one go.
The downside to this, of course, is that there’s a tonne of data to store while recording. Lytro has designed a custom server and processing unit, along with custom software aimed at filmmakers, which is also compatible with existing videography and game design software.
There’s also a new Light Field video playback engine for major virtual reality headsets and platforms. As you’d expect, this setup won’t be accessible to the average consumer, mostly due to its professional price tag.
Lytro has yet to reveal just how much the full rig will cost, but we are told that a leasing system, similar to existing high-end filming equipment use, will be available.
There’s no set release date as of yet, beyond early 2016, but when it does finally land, we’re looking forward to diving into the content its capable of producing.