Today, GoPro announced the acquisition of Kolor, a spherical media company based out of Savoie, France. Kolor offers a full suite of tools to enable the simple creation and distribution of 360 video content. Given that their rig works using the GoPro camera technology, this strategic acquisition makes a lot of sense for the folks at GoPro. This is great news for the VR community, due to what will likely result in lower cost, easier to use VR 360 rigs and software workflow.
Kolor offers a few things that are especially exciting for those of us looking to produce VR content:
Kolor offers three main types of camera rigs for capturing immersive 360 content. The Standard, Waterproof, and Submarine versions. All three rigs run six GoPro cameras, and as you can guess from the name, work just about anywhere.
Video Stitching Software:
Kolor offers two versions of its video stitching software. Autopano Video and Autopano Video Pro. The pro version claims to render 15x faster, by using your computers graphics card, and also enables the ability to edit stereoscopic immersive video content. The UI is intuitive with a drag and drop editor and automated stiching. When you’re done editing, you can export in 4K to desktop, mobile, and just about everywhere else. Here is a cool sample music video made using their technology. You can find a full list of features here.
Video Player & Hosting:
Kolor Eyes is a desktop 360 video player that works on Mac and PC. It allows you to easily load and show 360 content on your desktop. It also works with most head mounted displays including the Oculus Rift.
The crew at Kolor has also created, Kolor Eyes Hosting, a beautifully designed 360 web-hosting platform that easily allows you to embed and share immersive content online. It already has 1,000’s of 360 videos on the platform from producers around the world. The platform has an API and supports up to 4K video. It’s free to host your videos and quite a nice experience as a user. Here is an example of the 360 embed.
Overall, this acquisition is great for the VR industry and demonstrates the growing interest from large players like GoPro.