GoPro is diving into the world of VR in the coming months with the new GoPro Omni. Expecting some wild design for the final product? Sorry, the prototypes we saw earlier are the same today.

The Omni is a spherical rig with 6 GoPro Hero4 Black cameras installed. One worrying sign is in the product shots; the waterproof housing is gone. And judging by how the cameras are mounted, you question if the prototype showing them on was jettisoned.

Action VR without the action VR? We won’t know until NAB, but not having the waterproof housing is a concern. I use mine as an excuse to drop everywhere.

GoPro bringing the rig to NAB in a couple of weeks is a sign this is making its way into production. Makes sense considering the company’s only other VR offering is the Odyssey, a $15,000 budget-melting rig with 16 Hero4 Black cameras.

GoPro Odyssey VR rig

And that brings us to the price of the rig. For prosumers, you’ll already have the requisite six cameras, or close enough. But jumping into the VR game right off the street? The cameras alone will set you back $3,000. The rig? GoPro is radio silent on the price, but it’s hard to see a standalone accessory costing more than a single Hero4.

Sound expensive? It is but the industry is new. You can go cheap and under a $1000 but the video quality is terrible. Or, go professional-level with Nokia’s Ozo at the high-end for $60,000.

Yeah… The GoPro Omni doesn’t sound bad. You get the quality of the Hero4 cameras, and what one hopes is future compatibility with upcoming Hero launches.

The multi-camera setup for entry-level VR will not shoot in 3D out of the box. Instead, the company is promising ‘pixel-level’ synchronization via hardware baked into the rig. It will also work with Kolor; the VR-video software company GoPro acquired last year.

Are there cheaper options? Sure. There are third-party mounts you can buy today. The issue is good luck with the stitching process in post. If you’re a badass in editing, go for it. Hell, you can even 3D print your mount.

GoPro is promising the rig and bundles will be made available when it goes on sale. At NAB, they are promising to introduce other spherical accessories (maybe there’s hope for waterproofing) and items like the HeroCast transmitter for broadcast.

GoPro Omni production

Where’s the GoPro Karma?

I’m with you. Where is the Karma? Will it be at NAB? Both questions are an unknown, but there is a date which makes sense. Pay attention to June 9th. That is the start of the 2016 GoPro Mountain Games in Vail.

The company is skilled at marketing, and what better way to show off the Karma drone and the Omni than at its outdoor games.

Will there be an official announcement for the Karma before then? I’d lean towards yes, but I’d be disappointed if there wasn’t a massive marketing push at the games. Loads of press. Spectators. Action sports.

It’s the perfect product conference. No convention floor. GoPro in its natural element. It’s a guess, but a decent bet all things considered.

Sound off below on the Omni. Excited to see what GoPro brings to the table with its official prosumer VR rig?

Gear. TV. Movies. Lifestyle. Photography. Yeah, I’m the type who sees a shiny object and is immediately captivated. Wait... There’s another. You can reach me at marcus@newsledge.com

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