Want to head up into space? You could purchase a ticket on Virgin Galactic for $250,000 and risk death. Alternatively, you can sign up for an Indiegogo campaign and let some guys from Germany take you up to 100,000 feet with no risk of death in VR.
The Custom Stratosphere 360-Degree Camera Rig
- The cameras are placed inside an aluminum housing/body, and only the lenses are on the outside. The final design will be like their current three camera design (shown below)
- The inside of the housing/body will be thermally insulated and protected from fall damage. Charging cables will be plugged into an additional power bank.
- A tripod socket will be located at the top and will connect the balloon/parachute and the rig.
- Additional aluminum bars at the bottom will further stabilize the video.
Prototype three Camera Rig
Most balloon videos are shaky, will I hurl in VR?
The guys have already considered this factor. Philipp Teucher from the team described how they plan to minimize camera shake and spinning:
- No big polystyrene box - one of the primary reasons for rotating / shaking are the polystyrene boxes. While they protect the cameras and other equipment inside, they also offer a huge surface for the wind.
The 360-degree Stratosphere camera rig will be quite a bit smaller than a box and protect itself since the cameras are inside the aluminum housing and only the lenses are outside.
- Additional stabilizers will be added to the rig. They tested several stabilizers, hinges, professional camera gimbal systems, aluminum bars and other weights.
The combination offers a stable video and doesn't destroy the view.
- The guys will stabilize it even more during post-processing. It takes a lot of time in post processing but is worth the effort.
- The resulting video will offer a "360°" and a "VR safe" version. The "VR safe" version will be a bit shorter since it will only contain "safe" content. What does that mean?
If everything goes right the raw video will have a duration somewhere between 90 and 200 minutes, and they will have a lot of material. Safe means we will only use stable parts of the video, which should minimize nausea. The "360°" version will contain all highlights, even if it's shaky or rotates a little.
How can I help launch this baby?
Head on over to the Indiegogo campaign page to help out. Contributions start at $1. The VR Starter package for $75 gets you a pair of VR-Glasses, Vridge (an application that allows you to enjoy virtual reality PC apps and games on your Smartphone), an extra-long high-quality micro USB-Cable (if you want to charge your phone while enjoying VR) and a 3.5mm audio extension cable along. You'll get a range of 8K and 4K videos already completed on a 64GB USB 3.0 Stick. Including a "Special Thanks" and of course the "The 360° Video" perk. You will need a smartphone to use with the VR-glasses.