Google, IMAX Partner to Create VR for Smartphones

Google is taking on Oculus and Steam with its new Daydream VR software, designed to run on a user’s smartphone at a (relatively) affordable price.

Jordan O'Brien

Google and IMAX are teaming up to create a brand new VR camera to enhance the Android-manufacturer’s newest VR ambition – Daydream.

Announced at Google I/O, Daydream is Google’s attempt to take on the likes of Oculus and Steam in the VR arena. The software has been designed to run on a user’s smartphone, meaning it should be more affordable than offerings from its competitors.

Despite having only just announced Daydream, Google is already going all in – with the company partnering with a whole range of companies to provide VR experiences on Daydream. The companies signed up include HBO, The New York Times, CNN, Ubisoft, Electronic Arts and, of course, IMAX.

IMAX’s partnership with Google includes a new VR camera, one to take on the likes of Nokia’s OZO and Facebook’s new endeavor.

This isn’t the first time Google has made a stake in the VR market – the company’s Cardboard VR viewer is incredibly popular and last year the company revealed a VR camera made up of 16 GoPros dubbed JUMP. This year however, Google is hoping to win the hearts of Hollywood studios everywhere by revealing a cinema-quality 3D camera rig in partnership with IMAX.

“IMAX, of course, is known for incredibly immersive capture and audio,” says Google’s VP of virtual reality, Clay Bavor. “And they’re going to be bringing their decades of experience with camera design, optics, sensors and more to JUMP.”

IMAX is not the first Hollywood entity to be interesting in VR experiences. Disney recently signed a partnership with Nokia to use its OZO camera in some of its upcoming projects.

“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,” says IMAX CEO Richard L. Gelfond.

JUMP cameras are already in the hands of several partners such as Paramount Pictures, The New York Times and Discovery Communications, but this new camera system will be designed for those wanting the absolute highest quality.

This article was originally published on CE Pro Europe.