Three years ago, we first heard about Orbi Prime sunglasses, which use four built-in cameras to record interactive 360-degree video. Orbi has now unveiled a sturdier version of the goggles, but perhaps more interestingly, it’s also packed the tech into a football helmet.
Currently on display at CES 2019 in Las Vegas, the prototype Orbi football headset features four 1080p/30fps cameras, for a combined 4K resolution (planned production model will increase resolution up to 4K/60fps per camera, for a total of 8K).
The output from all four cameras is digitally stitched together to form a single 360 degree panoramic video – viewers can pan and tilt in this video to see the grill action from the player’s perspective, looking in any which way. Images are streamed from the headset via 5G.
While streaming might seem like the obvious application for the technology, Orbi also plans to use it for player safety and performance analysis.
As for safety, a 9-axis inertial measurement unit (an accelerometer/gyroscope combo) in the final version of the headset will register potentially dangerous head impacts, automatically logging them into the player’s health record and also providing real-time wireless alerts to people such as coaches. Using video recorded on the helmet, users will then be able to examine these impacts, gaining a better understanding of their cause and severity.
And when it comes to performance, coaches could review games from the perspective of different players’ headsets. Among other things, this would allow them to see which areas of the pitch (and which other players) were visible from which locations at different times.
The final retail version of the headset is currently in development – you can see footage shot with the prototype at the end of this article. Just click and drag the image to pan and tilt. And if you can’t wait to get your hands on the tech, the new Orbi Marinix waterproof goggles (same video resolution as the Prime model) should be available soon, priced at US$599.
Orbi is also showcasing a DJI Spark quadcopter equipped with the 360-degree video system, hoping to inspire drone manufacturers to use the technology in their products.
360° football training with some action