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The Story of Live Planet

Read below about the vision that brought our camera and VR platform to life.

When Live Planet’s founder and CEO, serial entrepreneur Halsey Minor (CNET, Salesforce, Google Voice, OpenDNS, Vignette, NBCi, among others), set out in 2015 to enable the next generation of video – immersive virtual reality or “VR” video – there were no standards around which solutions could be readily developed and foundational problems were not yet addressed.

Multiple innovations were required in order to realize the powerful vision associated with VR: the ability for anyone to be instantly transported anywhere on Earth, at any time, the core vision behind the name Live Planet.

We needed to solve three fundamental problems:
  • 1.

    Capture footage at the highest possible visual quality, stereoscopically, and in a manner consistent with the natural characteristics of human vision in order to provide a comfortable experience with no dizziness or nausea so that viewers could dwell in content experiences for long periods of time.

  • 2.

    Automatically stitch video footage in real time on the capture device, to such a high degree of perfection (no stitch lines, no distortion) that the content would be ready to be consumed live as an application may require.

  • 3.

    Reliably deliver content – whether live or recorded – over dynamic network conditions in high quality video and audio to the myriad of VR and 360° platforms available, and do so with push-button simplicity on the part of the publisher.

Over the past three years, the amazing Live Planet™ team has worked obsessively to conquer these problems. It’s not been easy, as each challenge required a multi-layer solution, which then brought additional challenges which needed to be solved.

For example, capturing footage on the Live Planet Camera in a manner consistent with the way human eyes see the world required that our lenses be of a sufficient number (we found anything less than 16 resulted in certain undesired visual compromises) and placed at very specific, calculated distances in order to approximate the median human interpupillary distance. Adhering to these optical parameters allowed us to deliver Natural VR output, but also necessitated certain industrial design constraints, including the small circumference of the camera barrel.

This is why the Live Planet Camera is so elegantly small and compact, which is great for our unobtrusive footprint and product beauty shots, but frankly was a huge headache for our engineers – because the small volume within the housing had to contain massive processing power to deliver all the onboard functionality required to address the requirement for automatic, real time stitching. We are certain it was worth the effort, though, because as a result the system enables push-button simple VRcasting that is simply otherwise impossible to do.

Many other challenges presented themselves along the way, and we knocked each down in turn, even though it took a while. Suffice to say, the fruits of all these labors can be seen in the integrated, versatile power of the full end-to-end Live Planet VR System, of which we are extremely(!) proud.

We’ve closely examined other solutions in the market and found none boast the ease of use, quality of output, or integrated solution of Live Planet VR. This system stands alone in the market as the optimal enabler of a world of VR video programming and applications and we couldn’t be more proud.

Now, with development challenges behind us, Live Planet™ is excited for our story to continue with all the amazing ways in which our customers worldwide and across industries will use the system.
That next chapter starts now with you!