GoPro Omni Challenges Virtual Reality Industry, Launches New Video App And Livestreaming Tools

GoPro is going head-to-head with the biggest names in the virtual reality industry, as they plan to launch their own line of VR products. At the same time, GoPro is simultaneously introducing their new online platform where users can livestream their motion captures online.

According to Yahoo!, GoPro will make the announcement during the NAB, National Association of Broadcasters, event in Las Vegas. They are going to introduce the all-new Omni VR camera they had promised their fans.

The Omin VR GoPro camera has a spherical content. The spherical rig was supposed to be their edge from the normal VR components currently out in the market. In their GoPro Omni VR Teaser, they stated that they want to “manipulate reality” with the tool.

Though some were skeptical with GoPro’s announcement, fanatics were keen to watch out what the hardware company has come up with.

One of their other teasers was made by Tahiti Surfer Anthony Walsh who used the Omni VR while surfing. The immersive experience is what GoPro is after for in their new Omni VR line.

The Omni VR Camera aims to capture the spherical content by having “six synchronized cameras,” which they call a “spherical array.” From afar, the Omni VR looks like a rounded square.

The Omni VR Camera is also composed of six Hero4 cameras put together in an aluminum rig. They made it very lightweight so the users can utilize the tool while in action. The Onmi VR Camera is expected to be sold at $4,999.

With the release of the Omni VR Camera, GoPro is also launching the new GoPro VR, an online website and app platform that allows Omni VR users to showcase their work to the world. The GoPro VR apps are available in iOS and Android.

Will GoPro Beat the Competition?

It’s still hard to determine if GoPro will be able to successfully disrupt the virtual reality business. With people getting inclined with the new Oculus Rift, some competitors like Samsung’s Milk VR has failed to gain traction.

At the same time, Facebook might be competing directly with GoPro’s Omni VR as they plan to launch Surround 360, a VR tool aimed at getting spherical content, according to Fool.

Facebook’s high-end video camera is made for 360-degrees capture. It has 17 lenses, and it is also linked to a web-based software that automatically renders videos. Just like the GoPro VR, Facebook’s Surround 360 can immediately upload motion captures online.

Fool also noted that GoPro might actually have a disadvantage in this competition. Though the company is now offering the 16-camera Odyssey and the new Omni VR, GoPro is relying too much on the rigs. If they created stand-alone cameras to capture 360 content, they might get ahead of the bunch.

With the rise of 360 camera’s lower-tiered competitors like Ricoh’s Theta S and Kodak’s PixPro SP360-4K are already winning the masses because of their user-friendly prices. Theta S is sold at $350 while Koda’s PixPro is sold at $500.

GoPro’s remaining advantage is their niche for outdoors motion capture. At the same time, GoPro already has camera enthusiasts vying for their products. Because of GoPro’s current user base, they might have a chance.

However, analysts disagree. Though GoPro, as a company, experienced 16 percent growth in 2015, they are expecting a 15 percent drop this year. The fall was because of the “sluggish demand for action cameras and tough headwinds in the drone market.”

Whether GoPro Omni VR will be a success or not, only the consumers can tell.

[Image Credit: David Becker/Getty Images]