Google's point-and-shoot VR180 cameras from Lenovo, YI announced at CES

10 January, 2018, 01:33 | Author: Boyd Miller
  • Google's point-and-shoot VR180 cameras from Lenovo, YI announced at CES

So the two cameras they announced today are the Lenovo Mirage Camera with Daydream and the Yi Horizon VR180 Camera. VR180 cameras capture photos and video in 3D, but can be viewed and shared in either 2D or 3D. The Mirage Camera is no headset, though it might look like a collapsed Google Cardboard.

The Mirage Solo with Daydream will be available for under $400 in the second quarter of this year. One interesting part about the Horizon is that the display flips around, so you can take a VR180 selfie.

Lenovo's Mirage Camera, a VR camera that captures a 180-degree view of your surroundings.

Powering this experience is Qualcomm's Snapdragon 835 VR platform, which includes 2017's hottest smartphone SoC paired with 4GB of RAM. These also sport f/2.1 apertures, so they aren't going to give you insane depth of field like some of the other smartphones on the market right now, but you will get some crisp images. An LTE version will also be available but there is no word on pricing at present. But this announcement gives us a fuller picture of the product.

Google's point-and-shoot VR180 cameras from Lenovo, YI announced at CES
Google's point-and-shoot VR180 cameras from Lenovo, YI announced at CES

This just in, VR180 cameras soon to be replaced by your phone.

Another feature of these cameras is the ability to start high-resolution 3D livestreams thanks to a compression format, with the YI featuring a one-button way to get on the air.

There's a USB-C port for data transfer and charging, as well as an HDMI output, both under a door on the side. The content can be viewed on a standard display of course, but it's really meant to be used with a VR headset. Is VR180 something you could get behind? The camera also features instant in-device stitching and supports live streaming so creators and fans can be together in real time. Which again, makes it lighter weight and since it is already pretty thin, it can slide right into your pocket without looking awkward - unlike most 360-degree cameras on the market right now. You can pair it with your smartphone using Wi-Fi Direct, and if you download Google's VR180 app, you can even use your smartphone's screen as a viewfinder and preview your photos and videos. The $199 headset will lack the Mirage Solo's positional tracking and more powerful internals, but sits at what may be a much more palatable price point for consumers wanting to flirt with the technology but who aren't quite ready to buy a bulky PC or a game console variant.

The Mirage Solo's black-and-white design looks a little like Samsung's Gear VR, but with a headband shape that's similar to the Sony PlayStation VR or Samsung Odyssey. Although Lenovo is also looking to get this one a bit lower in price before launch.

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