Facebook Introduces Surround 360, the 3D VR Camera

April 19, 2016, By Sanjeev Ramachandran

Facebook did have a surprise package for the F8 conference. While it was believed that their VR involvement would be in the form of video overhauls in the social media, the company took the audience by a surprise by launching a hardware device alongside; the new hardware companion for Oculus Rift.

They launched the new entry in the 360 degree camera segment, called the Surround 360. With a stunning look that resembles an oversized spinning top, the Surround 360 manages to tackle down some of the mostly incurred difficulties of modern day 360-degree cameras.


A set of 17 cameras are placed across the device, of which 14 are embellished across the centre ring. The remaining three are fish eye cams, with one placed atop the device and the remaining two at the bottom. Instead of rolling shutters, Surround 360 uses a global shutter for all these cameras to avoid any artefact display arising out of the individual shutter closure.

Not only can it capture 360-degree images and videos, but Surround 360 will also have them edited and rendered together to bring forth the final output fully fledged. The innovative design also helps the camera to render the output without showcasing the support to which the camera is held. This has been something inevitable in the modern day VR cams.


Facebook hasn’t revealed when it will have the Surround 360 tossed on to the market, or about its pricing. This is because the currently revealed device is only a prototype version, and we don’t expect the final product to arrive soon given the strategy laid for its development. As of now, the company is planning to roll out the device as an open-source project on GitHub.

The F8 conference has also been the venue for other big announcements which were mostly speculated before the event. Those include the introduction of chatbots, and also the expansion of Instant Articles to make it accessible for all.

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