Facebook and RED unveil their Manifold 3D VR camera

It promises video with a true six degrees of freedom.

Facebook and RED are finally ready to show their 3D VR camera after months of teasing. They've revealed Manifold, a ball-shaped array that uses 16 of RED's Helium 8K sensors (with 180-degree Schneider lenses) to capture a complete, 60FPS VR video in one scene, including depth information. The The result is high-quality 360-degree video that reacts when you move your head. You might not walk directly through a video, but you wouldn't be stuck in one camera position when watching with an Oculus Quest or a similar six-degrees-of-freedom headset.

It's relatively flexible, too. The control and storage units can sit up to 328 feet away from the camera, and third-party story options provide an hour-plus of recording time. Editors will have to use tools from Adobe, Foundry and OTOY, although you can control the array from a web browser on your device of choice. There's a developer kit to enable support for third-party processing tools.

The two companies are still shy about just when Manifold will be ready. They're still "on the road to commercial availability," according to a statement. It's safe to presume a machine with this many cameras will be expensive even for professionals, however. The future of 3D VR is coming -- it's just that it'll be limited to that handful of companies that can justify the outlay.

Catch up on all the news from Oculus Connect 5 here!