Facebook is taking a second crack at designing 360-degree cameras


Facebook on Wednesday introduced two new 360-degree cameras that will join the company's Surround 360 degree lineup of products. They'll enable photographers and videographers to gather more immersive media that will allow users, particularly those with virtual reality headsets like the Oculus, to feel like they're reliving the moment.

Facebook is making a big bet on virtual reality and its cousin, augmented reality, where computer images are superimposed over the real world. On Tuesday, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg called augmented reality "Act 2" for Facebook.


The x24 and x6 are equipped with 24 cameras and 6 cameras respectively. Both devices are capable of shooting in six degrees of freedom -- that is, they can move forward/backward, up/down, and left/right -- allowing them to capture a full 360-degree video or images.

Facebook said that, while some of its partners appreciated its original open source approach it introduced with last year's Surround 360 design, these cameras are for partners who just want one product.

"We're planning to license these new designs to a select group of commercial partners, with the goal of releasing a product later this year," Facebook said.

It hs no plans to sell the x24 or x6 direct to consumers.