Google’s Using An Insane GoPro Rig and YouTube to Bring VR to Everyone

By Mario Aguilar on at

GoPro has developed a rig housing that’ll allow you to shoot 360 video for Google’s Cardboard. It’s just one part of making content using Google’s new Jump system—a solution that standardises every step of creating VR content. This is how VR goes mainstream.

Google’s Using An Insane GoPro Rig and YouTube to Bring VR to Everyone

This is a very important part of the virtual reality puzzle. Until now, people who’ve wanted to make 360 content have had to basically engineer their own solutions: From the rig that shoots the camera, to the software that stitches video together. It’s what’s referred to in the business as an “end-to-end solution.” From production to playback, Google has you covered.

The jump platform sets out the exact camera geometry that needs to be used for a rig. The GoPro rig meets that standard, but in theory, you could build your own. Then there is a “Jump” assembler, software that algorithmically stitches video together. And then when it’s time for play the content back in Cardboard, you just use YouTube, the universal player that Google already owns.

GoPro is a natural partner for Google on this front. Cheaper hacked together rigs universally use GoPros. For example, here’s the rig I saw last year. It was used to make a 360 VR video for Mountain Dew:

Google’s Using An Insane GoPro Rig and YouTube to Bring VR to Everyone

In the case of producing that video. The main production company custom 3D-printed their own rig for the GoPros. Then, it had to hire a few outside companies to help it stitch together video. The entire solution was custom. After Google rolls out Jump this summer and into the fall, the solution is already developed. You use the Google-designed rig to shoot the video. Use the Google software to stitch all the video together. And then play it back on your phone inside a £15 Cardboard, using Google’s web-based player.

Obviously there’s a long way to go until VR is perfect and truly compelling, but thanks to Jump, Google just solved many of VR’s problems all at once.