Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

H2020

AbsZero Report Summary

Project ID: 729583

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - AbsZero (Feasibility Study: A First-of-its-Kind Software-Defined Virtual Reality Camera)

Reporting period: 2016-06-01 to 2016-11-30

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project

Virtual reality (VR) is a long awaited technology which can be named as #1 media to influence the way how modern society will consume video content in the future. Up to 400 million consumers will become the audience for VR content until 2020.

However, there is a grass-root problem with VR content generation as there are no viable solutions for the masses to produce their own videos in high-quality. Current solutions to create VR videos are underlying some substantial barriers with regard to the current state of technology. To produce such videos is either a) very expensive, or b) requires extensive knowledge and work, and can thus only be done by professionals.

The Absolute Zero VR video camera is a first-of-its kind product that is designed to solve exactly this problem from scratch and will disrupt the market of VR video cameras because it makes high-end cameras of this type widely available for a target audience that did not have access to this technology before. The intelligent system architecture will furthermore augment the hardware through cloud technology and will enhance the system through unlimited processing power, infinitely scalable storage space, less power consumption, and the possibility of post-sale implementation of new functionalities.

Work performed from the beginning of the project to the end of the period covered by the report and main results achieved so far

During this innovation project, the Absolute Zero camera has been handed further to a range of independent video production studios and private users for testing the product in operational environment under realistic conditions.

Data obtained during the test period clearly shows the performance of the system and its overall applicability within the target group. The field tests demonstrated that the camera is capable of producing highly-defined 360 videos and a reduced workflow through the cloud-augmented system. Complete analysis of usability and system architecture led to useful insights that are used for optimization in a last development phase.

In parallel, a detailed commercial analysis of the technology and the market for 360 degree video camera products has been conducted, resulting in a comprehensive business plan, including strategic information about product, customer profiles and use cases, market positioning, competitor analysis, risk analysis, detailed budgeting, go-to-market strategy, and exit strategy analysis. The market study has been based on quantitative and qualitative approaches, including online surveys, focus-group interviews, in-depth interview, and on-sight observations within the target group.

To evaluate the legal feasibility of the Absolute Zero 360 camera, a comprehensive analysis of worldwide published technical and scientific state-of-art documents was conducted and assessed to provide foundation for exploitation of intellectual property of the technology.

Progress beyond the state of the art and expected potential impact (including the socio-economic impact and the wider societal implications of the project so far)

The industry for virtual reality content is still at an early stage. Absolute Zero represents a major breakthrough in the market for VR video cameras and accounts to a new category of high-end 360 degree cameras within the mid-range price segment. The camera enables a whole new segment of independent video producers to become active and produce 360 degree video content in a quality that was solely exclusive to big production studios before that.

The field test of the Absolute Zero 360 camera was the first test of the technology in a realistic environment and thus a major step forward to compared existing 360 camera products. The test showed that 360 video technology in 8K is not just longer finding application by bigger media studios, but has real applications by a mass audience of independent video production studios worldwide.

A technology push like this will benefit the overall growth of 360 degree video content and the VR industry as a whole. The industry lifecycle will be accelerated if more people can actively contribute to the industries development. Absolute Zero aims to provide the right tools and platforms as foundation for co-creation for this development.

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