Given Facebook’s interest and investment in VR related technologies (they purchased Oculus for $2 billion dollars) it is not surprising to see them take the next major step into developing a robust and efficient 3D VR content creation end-to-end ecosystem. The engineering side of FB, F Code, today announced the introduction of the Facebook Surround 360 camera and VR production workflow :
What is truly remarkable about today’s announcement is not only the depth and breadth of the Facebook engineering effort but the fact that the company has also embraced an Open Source philosophy rather than the typical closed, proprietary approach favored by many large hi-tech corporations. As Brian K Cabral, Director of Engineering, at Facebook notes in his fascinating explanation of why and how FB have done what they’ve done:
“The system includes a design for camera hardware and the accompanying stitching code, and we will make both available on GitHub this summer. We’re open-sourcing the camera and the software to accelerate the growth of the 3D-360 ecosystem — developers can leverage the designs and code, and content creators can use the camera in their productions.”
The engineering challenges they’ve tackled are incredibly difficult but it looks as though Facebook is putting some serious dollars and brain power into solving them. I’m hoping to find out more information on the camera and the workflow at NAB 2016, in the meantime, check out today’s announcement from Facebook for more details.