jaunt vr virtual reality cinema movie live action oculus rift

Jaunt VR, a company dedicated to creating a platform for the production of cinematic virtual reality content, today announced that it has closed a series B funding round, raising $27.8 million, led by Highland Capital Partners with participation by Google Ventures.

The Jaunt camera, mounted on a steadicam rig.
The Jaunt camera, mounted on a steadicam.

The series B round comes just 5 months after the company raised $6.8 million in its series A. The company says they’ve got “the first full-stack hardware and software solution for cinematic VR.” The company’s most visible creation is the Jaunt camera, a 360 degree audio/video rig which captures video that is processed into 3D footage and can be viewed all around using a VR headset. Recently the company revealed that it was shooting The Mission VR, a WWII short film for virtual reality, with director Matthew Gratzner and New Deal Studios.

See Also: On the Set of ‘The Mission VR,’ A WWII Short Film Shot for Virtual Reality

The company’s series B investment round is led by Highland Capital Partners who have invested in companies such as Leap Motion and LevelUp. Google Ventures joined in, and investors from the company’s series A, Redpoint Ventures, British Sky Broadcasting (Sky), Peter Gotcher, and Blake Krikorian, also participated in the round, bringing the company’s total funding to over $34 million.

The company says that the funds will help it continue to grow.

“This round of funding will enable us to scale up in several ways. First and foremost, it will allow us to continue to grow the world-class team we’ve already begun to put together. We’ll be able to build additional cameras and build out the production team, which means we can film and produce more content, and do it on a larger scale. We’ll also continue to establish new and exciting partnerships with the creative community and other platform providers.”

SEE ALSO
Jaunt to Liquidate Tons of VR Stuff in Online Auction Soon

Jaunt has been walking a fine line between producing tools for VR content creation and creating VR content themselves. Regarding whether or not the Jaunt camera will be sold to the public, the company says, “Jaunt’s current focus is on helping the top content creators produce the highest quality cinematic VR content and we do not have a timeline established for when our camera units will be available for commercial sale. ”

The company says that the content they create will be “device agnostic”, playable on any VR headset, like the Oculus Rift and Sony’s Morpheus, through a custom application designed to deploy the content.

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  • skylerbaird

    This amount of funding is a joke right? I have been working with spherical video for a few years and what these guys are doing is not unique, nor is the camera they made. There are at least 100 other people I know in the industry that have been doing this stuff for a while now. Perhaps we just haven’t been talking to the right people. Congrats on the funding though that is great for publicity of the tech, i’m just jealous is all :)

    • ScottBroock

      Hi Skylar. Thank you for the congrats, and if you are ever in the Bay area, please let us know. You should stop by the office for a demo and get a better look at how we are actually creating true, stereo 360 cinematic VR. It departs from previous approaches in several regards. Most importantly, the lenses on our system are not arranged in stereo pairs, and we derive our depth computationally. Greatly simplified, this means that we are using complex proprietary algorithms that take data from our multiple lenses to calculate separate, complete stitched spheres for your left and right eyes. The result is extremely immersive and yields a very convincing sensation of “being there.” We’re very excited about what this means for creatives throughout the industry. At the end of the day, it is the users who will push the envelope with our technology, and as of yet — there are no “rules” to break. :)

      • eoghank

        yeah i can see how this could work: if you take the spherical video and apply an approximate transformation you could simulate a second eye cam. the visual information wouldn’t be perfect, but it would be enough to create the depth. the fact that you are using different cameras at different angles makes this possible I guess, if you used a 360 lens you wouldn’t be able to do this.

        i want to use one, except I’m in ireland. get that thing on a drone, stat!

        • ScottBroock

          Working on the drone, my friend ;) It’s an interesting challenge based on where the stabilizing arms are located on a gimbal with horizon lock.

          And just to help even furtherer clarify — the calculations are actually made to create a complete left eye sphere from the source data, and then separately, a distinct computation from the source data to create the right eye sphere.

          Each eye gets it’s own privileged representation of the world, which is why the sense of depth and “being there” is so persuasive.

          • Alkapwn

            With this new series of funding do you guys plan on moving to custom hardware as well? I ask this because the current way as I understand it you’re at the mercy of GoPro’s capabilities. Are there any downsides to using their hardware? Things like advanced camera settings come to mind.

            Congrats again on the series B funding! Can’t wait for a Jaunt with a public release of a trailer from on of your many videos.

    • snake0

      buttmad

  • Fletch

    Very exciting times, I for one cannot wait to see what Scott and his team are working on.

  • mrvandemar

    Coming from a company called Jaunt, I would love to see someone make a “The Stars My Destination” movie for VR.