During its second day keynote on virtual reality, Google announced some new hardware partners for its Jump VR platform. Yi Technologies, a Chinese digital camera maker, will be creating an action camera for Jump, and IMAX will be working with Google to create a cinema-quality VR camera. IMAX says it will dedicate a team of engineers and camera specialists to work with Google on designing a new high-resolution camera from the ground up, leveraging technology that has been used by the likes of Christopher Nolan, J.J. Abrams, and Zack Snyder.
It's safe to say that camera won't be priced for consumers. But GoPro, which was announced as the first hardware partner for Jump at last year's I/O, will also be releasing more of its Odyssey units into the wild. YouTube creator spaces in New York and LA will now come equipped with GoPro's Jump cams, allowing any qualified vlogger to start trying their hand at creating high-quality VR content.
Google also gave out some additional information on the media partners who have been creating with Jump cameras so far. The New York Times, Paramount Pictures, and Discovery Networks are among the lucky few who have been given early access to this hardware. Jump encompasses the camera rig, but also includes the software which syncs all the cameras and stitches together the footage from each lens into a single image, then compiles it into a smooth, 360-degree file.
On the Daydream compatible phones shipping this fall, YouTube will have a new app optimized for virtual reality that will allow users to experience VR clips in full 3D. This is one step beyond the live, 360-degree video with directional sound that YouTube announced last month. It will no doubt be the showcase venue for high-end virtual reality films being created by the earlier Jump platform partners.