GoPro has announced its acquisition of French spherical media software firm Kolor for an undisclosed sum, making it the latest tech company to target success in the fast emerging field of virtual reality.
Kolor, a relatively little-known startup founded in 2004, has developed spherical media technology that allows people to develop panoramas, virtual tours and 360-degree videos.
The startup's software enables users to combine multiple photographs or videos to produce high-resolution panoramic or spherical content that can be viewed on mobile devices, the web or in a virtual reality environment.
The on trend wearable camera company decribed spherical media as an “essential building block” of virtual reality – a technology it expects to disrupt the entertainment, education and other industries.
“Kolor’s mission is to enable the ultimate visual experience - to transport an audience to another time and space. Joining GoPro makes this possible,” said Alexandre Jenny, CEO of Kolor. “When the best spherical media software is combined with the world’s most versatile capture devices, our imagination become our only limitation. We’re excited to see what the world captures and shares with GoPro and Kolor.”
“We are excited to welcome Kolor to GoPro,” said Nicholas Woodman, GoPro’s founder and CEO. “GoPro’s capture devices and Kolor’s software will combine to deliver exciting and highly accessible solutions for capturing, creating and sharing spherical content.”
All Kolor employees will join GoPro and will maintain operations at their headquarters in Savoie, France.
GoPro made a video called “Land, Air and Sea” to showcase what’s possible when GoPro teams up with Kolor.
The enhanced video can be played back through Kolor’s 360 virtual reality video player or YouTube 360. GoPro claims it will soon be compatible with devices like Samsung Gear VR.
Tech giants like Samsung, Facebook and Google are also pinning their hopes on the virtual reality market with devices such as Samsung Gear VR, Occulus Rift and Google Cardboard respectively