Google and IMAX are Working on a Virtual Reality Movie Camera

Friday, 20 May 2016 - 8:18AM
Virtual Reality
Friday, 20 May 2016 - 8:18AM
Google and IMAX are Working on a Virtual Reality Movie Camera
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Virtual Reality is already making a splash in the gaming world, and with big name backers like Steven Spielberg and Ridley Scott it won't be long until the movie industry starts to embrace the technology as well. A sign of things to come was provided yesterday, when Google and IMAX announced they were partnering to the develop a new form of camera designed specifically for shooting virtual reality experiences.

Combining Google's technological know-how and IMAX's industry nous, the new project will see the creation of a new IMAX VR Camera, which will allow filmmakers to shoot 360-degree sequences that could either revolutionize cinema, or just make you feel a little motion-sick. As if a 360-degree viewing experience isn't enough, it's also hoped the new camera will allow for the shooting of 3D content, which means wherever you look, stuff will be flying at you from all angles.


The move marks Google's latest foray into the VR world. Just yesterday the tech firm announced they were going to start developing their very own Google Daydream VR headset hardware, which means that in the near future, we could be watching movies shot with Google-developed cameras on a Google-developed headset. 

Knowing how quickly Google tends to operate, there's every possibility that we could witness the first IMAX VR experience within the next few years. With major filmmakers like Steven Spielberg already having committed to creating content exclusively for VR, it looks like we could be on the verge of a new era of cinematic storytelling. 

Read the full press release below.

Opening quote
Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) and IMAX Corporation (NYSE:IMAX) today announced at Google's annual developer conference, Google I/O, that the companies are working to develop a cinema-grade virtual reality (VR) camera – the IMAX® VR camera – to enable today's leading filmmakers and content creators to deliver the highest-quality 3D 360-degree content experiences to audiences worldwide.
IMAX's team of engineers and camera specialists will work with Google to design the new high-resolution cameras from the ground up, leveraging IMAX's best-in-class capture technology that has become an integral tool for today's biggest and most visionary filmmakers including Christopher Nolan, J.J. Abrams, Michael Bay, Anthony and Joe Russo, and Zack Snyder, among others. The camera, which will be built to utilize Jump, a platform for creating and viewing 3D 360 video, will deliver the highest-quality, most-immersive virtual reality content to consumers.
"For nearly 50 years, IMAX has pioneered moving image capture to allow filmmakers to produce the highest resolution images across 2D, 3D, film and digital formats, said IMAX Corp. CEO, Richard L. Gelfond.  "Today's partnership with Google takes us into the next frontier of immersive experiences – virtual reality – and we look forward to working with them to provide our filmmaker partners and other content creators with a level of VR capture quality not yet seen in this space. VR marks an exciting area of opportunity for IMAX and we believe this agreement, which enables us to participate in image capture and content creation, is an important first step in our broader VR strategy."
IMAX developed its first 2D 15perf / 65mm film camera in 1976. To this day, it remains the highest-resolution camera in the world – providing approximately 10x more resolution than 35mm film. IMAX has built out a suite of high-end capture devices – including recent developments of a lightweight 3D digital camera as well as a new cutting-edge 2D digital camera developed in partnership with ARRI.
"IMAX is known everywhere for their incredible immersive cinematography and sound, and we're delighted to have them contribute their decades of experience in cameras and content to the Jump platform," said Clay Bavor, VP, Virtual Reality at Google.
IMAX will also provide Google with exclusive access to pre-existing IMAX documentary content for conversion and use with Google's VR technology.
Closing quote
Virtual Reality