Meet the YI HALO, a 360° camera which records resolutions up to 8K x 8K with 17 individual cameras. YI Technology’s CEO Sean Da talks us through its features.
The YI HALO
8K x 8K. That’s already an amazing figure on its own, but there is more to this device than just a massive pixel count. In terms of design, the YI HALO works as the frame that holds seventeen 2.5K action cameras. 16 of them handle the horizontal view while one camera faces up, and they are all connected internally to the main unit that also powers them.
This design makes the YI HALO completely modular. If something happens to one of the cameras, you can just replace it with one of the two spares it comes with, and you can even replace them with newer models once these become obsolete – something that doesn’t take very long in the camera world these days. Firmware upgrades are also easy to do: they can be triggered for all connected cameras through the interface on the main unit.
The downside of being so modular is that each of the cameras will need its own SD card. On the other hand, recording 17 streams of such high-res video to just one medium would require a much more sophisticated recording unit. The HALO can record 8K x 8K resolutions at up to 30p and 6K x 6K resolutions at up to 60 fps.
The unit is powered through a dedicated battery which lasts for about 100 minutes of continuous recording, although you can also use AC to both power and charge the internal battery at the same time. The whole unit weights about 7.7 lbs (3,5 kg).
The YI HALO is the second 360° rig to be fuelled by Google’s Jump software, after the 16-camera GoPro Odyssey. This cooperation between YI and Google Jump is quite interesting: once you have offloaded all of your 17 SD cards, Google’s Jump software takes over stitching the actual 360° stereoscopic video. Users don’t need to rely on new software from a single manufacturer, but instead can count on a proven system developed by a global company. The Jump algorithms will handle the stitching job as a completely automatic process, which takes the pain out of manually stitching together 17 individual video streams.
Have a look at the official introduction video below (hint: it’s shot in 360° stereoscopic video):
There is also an app available from YI which helps you configure the HALO. Additonal modes such as photo or timelapse can also be found there.
Pricing and Availability
The YI HALO will be available in late summer 2017. Pricing hasn’t been announced yet, but don’t expect it to be cheap. The device will come bundled with a bunch of accessories, of which the two spare cameras are a particularly cool addition.
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