In 2015, light-field camera startup Lytro did a huge pivot, redirecting its focus from consumer light-field cameras (the original and the Illum) to its new light field virtual reality camera, the Immerge. Today the company released a first peek at what the Immerge can do.
The project is called “Moon,” and it’s the first live action virtual reality demo by Lytro that shows how the company’s technology can “simulate true presence”. Instead of simply allowing viewers to look around from a single point in space, viewers are able to move their heads around with 6 degrees of freedom (6DoF) for a more immersive experience.
Lytro says that prior to this “historic” technology, the VR industry has been dominated by systems with high immersion and low realism (e.g. video games), and systems with low immersion and high realism (e.g. modern 360-degree videos). With Lytro Immerge, high immersion is combined with high realism.
Viewers can finally be transported to a different place and feel like they’re “there.”
While the actual “Moon” demo isn’t available for public viewing through a VR headset yet, Lytro is releasing videos that show what the demo is like. In addition to the video of a woman testing the experience above, there’s also a behind-the-scenes look at how Lytro captured the “volume” of the moon set:
There’s also a look at how some CGI was added to the real-world imagery captured by the Immerge VR camera:
The Verge reports that we’ll likely see the first Immerge VR experiences emerge in early 2017, including from outside content creators that Lytro has partnered with for early projects.