Last May, Facebook and RED Digital Cinema announced they were working on a volumetric video camera based on Facebook’s Surround360 technology. At Oculus Connect 5 today, the company’s annual developer conference, Facebook and RED revealed a first-look at the camera, dubbed Manifold.


Manifold, Facebook says in a blogpost, captures multiple camera angles simultaneously from within a given volume, enabling what is says are “infinite perspectives to be generated from any direction within a field of view.” In short, it captures scenes volumetrically and preserves depth information for a more immersive view from within a VR headset.

Facebook’s depth estimation technology captures 3D information from the recorded scene such as characters, props, and backgrounds, and then lets you experience it in a positionally tracked headset, such as Rift or the upcoming Quest standalone headset.

While no pricing or launch date is available currently, it’s very likely aiming for the professional market—meaning big bucks, although you’d expect that for a new class of device that’s attempting to allow for users to finally watch 3D 360 video with positional tracking intact. Typically 360 video doesn’t provide depth information, even when it’s presented with a stereoscopic view, so this could deliver a new class of immersive VR video worth the wait.

“RED and Facebook worked closely to build this first studio-ready camera system for immersive 6DoF storytelling, aiming to connect creative professionals with audiences in a bold new way,” the companies say in a press statement. “We’ve made significant strides in realizing this new storytelling device—with plenty more work on the horizon—and today were excited to share the camera’s hardware design and tech specs as we continue on the road to commercial availability.”

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The companies have also revealed some hardware specs, which are listed below:

SENSORS

  • 16 RED(R) Helium 8K(R) Sensors arranged to allow full 360 6DoF capture
  • Record raw from 16 cameras running 8k @60 fps simultaneously

OPTICS

  • Custom Schneider 8mm, F4.0, 180 degree fish eye lenses

I/O CONNECTIONS

  • Single SMPTE 304M cable for power, control and data
    Camera Control Unit and storage device may be up to 100 meters from Camera Head
  • 5, 12g SDI outputs for monitoring or third party stitch processing
  • Multiple third party storage device choices providing 1 hour or more record time

ACCESSORIES

  • Front of lens ND filters available
  • Quick release handles for maneuvering and setup

UI/UX

  • Web app based control interface for flexibility of user interface device choice
  • SDK provided for post processing

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  • NooYawker

    For a moment I thought that was a picture a headset they’re working on. That would be very cool, something that wraps around your head

  • Steve Biegun

    So, any bets on how many digits the price will be?

  • Ian Shook

    It’s happening……. *sits at edge of seat*

  • brad

    the potential for VR is mind expanding. any price under 100K will be welcomed by the professional community.

  • MosBen

    It looks like Red’s other products are in the $10k-$20k range. Because this was co-developed with Oculus and there’s probably an interest in getting these out into people’s hands ASAP, my guess is that it’s not wildly out of pace with that range.

    • Zach Gray

      More more like 10-20k per sensor.

      • MosBen

        Ah, thanks. I’m just a guy with Google, so I’ll take your word for it.

    • kool

      50k if your wildly optimistic… Atleast double that in reality! This is some next gen Red gear after all.

  • A single RED WEAPON with HELIUM 8K S35 Sensor is ~$50,000 so 16 of them $800,000 Schneider lenses are about $5000 each so $80,000 plus a friend at OC5 took a picture of one with a tethered server (looked to be a bout a 1/4 rack mount) Probaly looking at close to a million. RED isn’t cheap.

    • Downvote King

      The helium 8K sensor itself is only ~$25,000, and I would imagine that besides volume pricing, there could be marketing reasons to lower the price considerably on top of this; prices are generally set at determined market value. The real question in any case is not what they charge for similar components single today, but what they cost to manufacture. This will determine the true latitude they have with pricing – as will the economics of scale partnering with a company like Facebook can offer them. I would imagine it could be a good deal less expensive than your estimate by the time it comes to market.

    • dk

      so how much is it to rent it for a day or a week

  • Padi

    Is this still the same workflow and as announced by OTOY in this video from 2017?
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EK3RaU6IPf4

  • fuyou2

    USELESS AS USUAL TO MOST DEVS…

  • fuyou2

    HOW MUCH??? SHUT THE FUCK UP….

  • Lucidfeuer

    So wait, why are not talking about the huge update of ORBX integration in 360° video feed format?

  • Graham J ⭐️

    It looks like a great camera, but all the volumetric/photogrammetry stuff is software. Not that it’s easy, but it’s been done. The hard part will be streaming enough information to the end user’s system.