On April 24th, Google introduced the YI HALO, the next product in its Jump lineup of 360-degree camera rigs. The lightweight, powerful YI HALO is an appealing new tool for VR filmmakers, and its price — $17,000 per unit, according to Fast Company — reflects that. The product’s hefty price tag may scare away some creators, but Google wants to get its latest toy in the hands of its creative community. It has announced a program called Jump Start, through which selected filmmakers will receive access to YI HALO rigs.
With Jump Start, Google is asking its community to send in pitches for projects they would film should they gain access to the advanced technology coming out of Mountain View. In choosing the creators to whom it will offer YI HALO rigs, Google is evaluating applicants based on three criteria: The originality of the pitch, its feasibility, and the degree to which it is “a good fit for the VR medium.”
The lucky creators Google ultimately picks will gain access to a camera rig that includes 17 lenses, all of which can be stitched together with almost no hitches. Google introduced YI HALO in a 360-degree video posted on YouTube.
Jump Start is one of several programs Google is using to encourage YouTubers to experiment with 360-degree video and VR. The tech company has also brought Jump camera rigs to YouTube Spaces around the globe, has worked with YouTube stars to produce content for the six-month-old Daydream device, and has launched a dedicated VR app that features content from YouTube’s most talented creators.