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Put those slivers back in, add lenses and a lot of tech....you get the idea. Image via Wikipedia

It’s got an unmistakeable look, and a considerable following: The Jaunt One 360°, stereographic camera.

In a world where an increasing number of companies are heading aggressively into the 360 and VR markets, Jaunt was one of the originals. It saw the coming potential, and was vastly ahead of the curve.

“It’s kind of funny – around the office we say we’ve been in the business ‘four years in a one-year industry’,” says Miles Perkins, Jaunt’s VP of Marketing and Communications.

At the NAB show, you can certainly see the difference. Some of the rigs on display looked a bit like they’d been recently cobbled together; jammed in a cluster with off-the-shelf cameras, wide-angle lenses, and in an array that will allow them to capture 360°, or 360 in 3D (which is what “stereographic” means). When you look at the difference between the two technologies, you have to wonder why *anyone* would want to do 360 alone when 3D-360 is so much more immersive.

It has certainly put Jaunt on the map. Just look at a few of the many titles produced with the Jaunt One, which now cover the company’s home page:

A few of the many films show with the Jaunt cinematic VR system
A few of the many films show with the Jaunt cinematic VR system

The point is, there weren’t many cameras designed and built from the ground up for this purpose. Jaunt was one of about five that were causing buzz; the others included Google’s YI HALO, Nokia’s OZO, the HumanEyes VUZE, and the Insta360 Pro. If you missed if, we did quite a wrap on 360/VR scene here.

The company calls its Jaunt One a “cinematic virtual reality camera.” And the camera is only part of a tightly integrated workflow that provides a pretty much end-to-end solution for creators. This is a huge advantage over some of the other entrants in this market, which can require massive amounts of processing power and incredibly long periods of simply waiting…while the data stitches and renders.

“Our camera system simultaneously records 3D stereoscopic video in all directions,” states the Jaunt web site. “Coupled with our 3D sound-field microphones, we capture everything needed to reconstruct the complete visual and auditory experience.”

Among the key features?

  • 24 camera modules with frame-sync and global shutter
  • 10 stops of dynamic range
  • Custom 130º FOV lenses
  • Fixed f/2.9 aperture.

That’s a snapshot of the front end. But the back appears just as well thought-out. Colour adjustment, image processing, even geometric calibration software to ensure each sliver of that wider 360° sphere is pulled together accurately is part of the package that integrates all of this data into immersive content.

In fact, think of the camera as being something like an orange; one where each segment of the orange has a lens, and each lens is capturing a wide enough image so that there is overlap. Then imagine a cloud solution that can take all of the data from each of those segments and output a single and pretty much flawless file. That’s the concept.

Here’s a deeper dive, from the company’s Miles Perkins:

And the reality? Well, here are a couple of films created using the Jaunt One system. You can scroll around on your laptop to see the full scene. Under the Canopy was produced in partnership with Conservation International in the Amazon Rainforest. Imagine this in 3D:

It’s also worth noting that if you wear headphones, when you scroll around the audio is also in 3D, which is a super-important part of this experience (particularly so when you’re wearing goggles and headphones and moving your head). There’s a particularly good example of that here, in Episode on of Invisible – a six-part series produced by Jaunt, directed by Doug Liman, and sponsored by Lexus.

By the way, if you have a headset that uses your phone as a VR viewing device (a la Google Cardboard style), you can download the Jaunt VR app to your mobile device and experience this stuff in 3D, the way it was meant to be seen. Click the link here.

Jaunt recently decided to start selling its camera through select, high-end retailers. The company would not provide TDC with a price, and the retailers weren’t displaying the cost either.

But there’s no doubt it’s an impressive camera, and one of very few vying for the high-end of the cinematic VR world.

However, based on the explosion of this sector, we suspect it won’t be long before there are more.


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