Lytro unveils Immerge, a pro-grade light field VR rig
Lytro, a company known for its light field cameras and technologies, has introduced Immerge, a professional-grade cinematic virtual reality rig. According to Lytro, this is the first 'end-to-end' virtual reality hardware and software solution, with the entire system comprising four primary components: a light field camera array, storage and processing server, an editor, and a video player.
Lytro Immerge captures Light Field Volume; that is, all data from all directions within a certain volume around the rig. By doing so, operators can generate virtual views from any point within that captured volume with any field of view. The VR rig offers Six Degree of Freedom (6DoF), opening the door for photorealistic live-action immersive storytelling. It's also able to 'blend' CG footage into the mix, as it is particularly easy to isolate objects in the scene based on depth, swapping out backgrounds for CG as needed without any green screening.
The Immerge's features include high configurability, with options like producing 360-degree, 180-degree, and spherical footage, as well as seamless capture (eliminating the need for stitching), content optimization for high-end VR headsets, and support for any interocular baseline. The latter is particularly important for different viewing environments, as interocular baselines should be optimized based on viewing size and distance. Traditionally, the baseline must be set at the time of capture; but with light field, it's adjustable after-the-fact.
At this point, Lytro is accepting applications from studios and content partners interested in prototype access. The precise cost of an Immerge rig hasn’t been revealed, but Rosenthal told The Verge that the price sits at 'multiple hundreds of thousands of dollars.' We can't wait to see what kind of innovative content is generated from Lytro Immerge, as it pushes the boundaries of the capture of reality far beyond anything we've seen.