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VideoStitch unveils the Orah 4i, a tiny 360 livestreaming 4K camera

TechCrunch TechCrunch 6/04/2016 Lucas Matney

There’s no shortage of 360 cameras on the market these days. If you have a desire to shoot immersive video and a ton of disposable income there’s nothing stopping you!

The issue is what happens to that content after its captured. I’d say 90% of the photos I take on my DSLR never make it off my camera to be seen by someone else, that problem is only multiplied for 360 content given the scarcity of headsets and viewers on the market.

The Orah 4i is attempting to solve this problem by kicking all of its content onto the web instantly. If a bar owner wants to promote a stream of a karaoke night they can just drop an Orah in the middle of their space and anyone can hop on their computer and pan around or strap a Gear VR to their face and really get in on the action.

Live-streaming VR content is pretty tough because of the complicated amount of video-stitching that has to take place to get each separate lens in on the action and contributing to the glorious 4K resolution. VideoStitch knows a thing or two about live-stitching 360 content, they’ve been helping companies like Red Bull and Facebook stitch 360 content with their content creation software  since 2012.

VideoStitch’s software suite is compatible with all types of rigs, from frankensteined GoPro rigs to massive clusters of DSLRs. They’re a bit complicated though and mostly focused on people who have a fairly professional handle on 360 video capture.

VideoStitch CEO Nicolas Burtey wanted to reach out to the less professional, more consumer-heavy market however but found that existing solutions weren’t cutting it.

“Until today, a live VR video production workflow relied on an array of small cameras put together on a holder. Videographers then dealt with multiple cables, power supplies and a variety of small hardware components. Orah removes these inefficiencies and numerous points of failure and lets them focus on what really matters to them for creating compelling content,” said Burtey in a statement. “We have developed a solution that streams 4K resolution live virtual reality video to headsets–all with the push of a button.”

You can’t really just beam footage from a 360 camera directly to a headset though, the computing required to stitch the footage is a somewhat essential if you don’t want to be staring at a bunch of fisheye lenses. To get this done, VideoStitch is including a proprietary computing unit that fits into the base of the tripod one would mount the Orah 4i on. The base rocks an Intel CPU and Nvidia GeForce CPU to make the stitching as instantaneous as possible.

The Orah 4i is shipping with a pretty hefty discount to early adopters. Those who pre-order the Orah 4i now can cop the camera and computing unit for $1,795, but once May hits the device will be increasing “incrementally” to the purchase price of $3,595.

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