Giroptic edges closer to 360° action cam release, YouTube announces support for 360° footage (huge deal)


Giroptic was on-hand last night at the CES Unveiled event showing off their 360° action camera which had debuted on Kickstarter this past summer to very strong backer support.  The action camera is somewhat a descendent of previous attempts by the closely related Geanaute 360* action camera you’ve seen at past CES events.

This time though, Giroptic says they’re mere weeks away from shipping to backers.  They’ll be starting in the next few weeks by shipping out developer kits to those on Kickstarter that backed at that level.  Following that along with successful validation by those developers, they’ll move to mass shipping to the other 3,916ish Kickstarter backers.

If that occurs, it’ll mark the first HD 360° action camera to ship (but not the first 360° action cam).  The camera works by seamlessly tying together footage from its three small lenses that are evenly spread on the camera body.  This footage gives a spherical view (up and down) of all action around you, through both video and photo modes.  Today you can use their mobile app to view the footage, or an embedded web page to view the footage for desktop computers.

By using 360° action cam footage one could mount it on the front handlebars of a pro cyclist’s bike in the Tour de France and not only see the crazy sprint towards the finish, but freely drag around and watch the riders sneaking up on the sprinter and then the raw pain on the sprinters face that’s riding the actual bike the camera is on.  The potential is huge here for a totally different and interactive level in sports.


In addition to viewing the footage today on their app and web player, you can also use a setup with the Oculus virtual reality goggles to view the videos, which would automatically change the view as you move your head.


They also had on-hand two different base options for the camera.  The way the hardware is designed, the bottom of the camera can be unlocked and removed.  Below you can see the two pieces, with the right side being the non-lens portion that has a standard GoPro Hero3 battery in it.  While the left side has the three lenses, the MicroSD card, and all the electronics.


By separating out the components into two distinct pieces they’ve been able to make various attachment bases.  The first is an Ethernet base that includes standard power over Ethernet, which can power the camera via just the Ethernet cable.  The video image can then be served up and streamed via standard RTP video stream to anywhere you’d like.  There’s also a small audio port on the side to attach a dedicated microphone.


Then they’ve got the light bulb attachment, which allows you to plug it straight into the ceiling, where it can be connected to via WiFi:


But the most important thing Giroptic had to show was actually something that they couldn’t yet demonstrate.  It was simply a written announcement by YouTube that they’ll be natively supporting 360° action cam footage later this year.

This means that you won’t have to deal with some (potentially) messy 3rd party embedded code or player to view 360° HD action cam footage.  Instead, it’ll be supported directly within the regular YouTube video player – including the ability to move around and change the view of the image.

It can’t be overstated how important this is for 360° action cam companies.  It’s the video industry equivalent of getting blessed by the Pope.  I suspect you’ll quickly see this market explode from being on the fringe to being the major action cam trend by next year.

At this point YouTube has published their planned implementation specification, which they plan to roll out a bit later this year.  Giroptic says that it should be in place by time they ship their action cams to regular users.

I’m definitely looking forward to testing the system out – hopefully sooner rather than later.

Thanks for reading!  And feel free to drop any questions below.

Welcome to CES 2015! Don’t forget to check out all my CES 2015 coverage, as well as my continual updates throughout the day on Twitter.  It’s gonna be a crazy busy week!


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  1. Scott E

    “…being on the fridge…”, assume that was meant to be fringe. No worries, I hate the auto correct features at times too. Sounds like a major inflection point for the industry is forth coming, and it will be interesting to see how well it is adopted within the commercial sector (e.g. News, advertising)

  2. Ian

    This is very interesting – the YouTube announcement means that this will explode this year – with all sorts of creativity unleashed!

  3. Excited for this! You can upload Giroptic content (and any 360 video) here:

  4. Lp

    I have been following this for a while now, I can’t wait for the release of all the products being built right now!

    There’s the Kodak Sp360 that is out right now and does film in 1080. My father-in-law is in the USA right now and bought me the Sp360, I should get by mid-may. I can’t wait to tested it out, although it will not have has much viewing width as the Giroptic or others, it will allow me to start using the technology Youtube and other tools are making. Plus it doesn’t look like a blender (V.360)

    • Indeed, I’ve tried out (and have) the Kodak Sp360, as well as the V.360. The quality on the Kodak is pretty…rough. The V.360 is much cleaner (and of course, bigger).

  5. This topic getting very frustrating. I’ve been waiting for ages to get hold of a decent 360 camera. I would like either the 360fly or the Giroptic. But neither is available in the UK yet as far as I am aware. Also the Kodak cam doesn’t offer the full swipe round experience from what I can tell. Is there any other news on this Ray?

    • Yeah, the Kodak is crap anyway (though, they did just announce a new camera this week – so we’ll see there).

      Giroptic continues to take forever to release. I thought I saw something that they’ve shipped dev kits. But it’s kinda out of control now.

      v.360 does work with YouTube now, but it’s a little funky and not as ideal as I’d like. I believe I have a few 360 videos up on my YouTube account from it.