Jump is all about making more of that stuff. The camera system, which Google is open-sourcing, provides a way for creators to capture high-quality 3D video relatively easily. “Relatively” because you still need multiple cameras to do it — the first Jump camera, made by GoPro, has 16 of them. But Jump does the heavy lifting of ensuring all those cameras are synchronised, not to mention splicing all the footage together.
Immersive, 360-degree photos and video have been around for a while, but Jump takes them to another level. Not only does it build a spherical video with the footage from multiple cameras, but it also makes it stereoscopic, meaning all the objects appear to have depth, like a 3D movie.
The results are startling. In a Jump demo at Google I/O, I donned a Google Cardboard headset to watch a 360-degree video of the inside of a motorcycle repair shop. At the touch of a button, the video switched from a “flat” version, where everything in the video looked like it was projected on the inside of a sphere, to one where all the objects looked like real objects that I could touch.
It’s the difference between watching a movie of a room and being in a room. The demo switched from video to video, each one designed to show the lifelike 3D qualities of the video: One segment put me in the middle of a Japanese gondola gliding up a mountain. I felt like I should be able to touch the people around me or get their attention by waving.
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