Facebook's self-built 360-camera is a live-streaming mothership

Facebook Surround 360 camera

Facebook is knee deep in virtual reality and it seems like a natural progression for the social media company to announce its own self-built 360-degree camera called the Surround 360 camera.

Unlike other 360-cameras made for professional and consumers, the Surround 360 camera is a strictly reference design for high-end video capture. The all seeing camera utilizes a 17-camera array – 14 wide-angle cameras along it circumference with fish-eye camera looking upwards and two more on the bottom.

Using web-based software, Facebook claims its camera can also stitch and render the 360-degree footage in real time.

The resulting footage is meant to be seen using a VR headset, and movies essentially render at 8K for each eye and at a silky smooth 60fps. It's easy to see Facebook is taking 360-degree footage to a whole new level.

Externally, the camera looks like a miniature alien saucer and this is to make room for all the cameras as well as the internal processing hardware. Facebook claims the Surround 360 is the best designed camera of its kind with the ability to record for multiple hours without overheating.

That said, the social network says it's not interested in getting in the camera business, instead it has developed the camera as an open source platform for developers to use as a model. Though you won't see it on GitHub until later this summer.


Kevin Lee

Kevin Lee was a former computing reporter at TechRadar. Kevin is now the SEO Updates Editor at IGN based in New York. He handles all of the best of tech buying guides while also dipping his hand in the entertainment and games evergreen content. Kevin has over eight years of experience in the tech and games publications with previous bylines at Polygon, PC World, and more. Outside of work, Kevin is major movie buff of cult and bad films. He also regularly plays flight & space sim and racing games. IRL he's a fan of archery, axe throwing, and board games.