Garmin releases a new 360-degree waterproof camera

Garmin is introducing a brand new camera into its action and sport genre to take on the likes of GoPro that typically dominate the category. This one from Garmin is a little different though as it is a 360-degree camera.

The company announced the VIRB 360 for $799 that will go on sale in June. The spherical 360-degree camera is waterproof and has four microphones built in that work together to capture 360-degree audio. The VIRB 360 shoots spherical video at up to 5.7K and it can take 15-megapixel still images, which puts it as one of the top high-resolution consumer 360 cameras available on the market today.

The camera will automatically stablize the footage that you shoot on-camera instead of relying on some external software on your desktop or relying on a paired smartphone to perform the task. You’ll also find a live-streaming feature to automatically shoot 360-degree video and broadcast it to the service of your choice, whether that be Facebook or YouTube. Garmin estimates that you’ll see about an hour of battery life depending on the modes that you’re using – expect live broadcasting to be the mode where you see the worst battery performance.

Up until now the VIRB 360 sounds like a pretty awesome 360-degree camera, but it doesn’t really stand out over the competition and especially doesn’t seem worthy of that hefty pricetag. What differentiates the VIRB 360, however, is the ability to overlay statistical information. Garmin has always been one of the top runners when it comes to monitoring performance and capture data and the VIRB 360 allows users to use this information to create data overlays. The camera can measure everything from speed, altitude, and distance traveled, even going as far as being able to calculate stats like hang time and jump height. It also has built-in GPS and GLONASS and is compatible with Garmin’s heart rate monitoring accessories.

Garmin calls the ability to overlay this data onto the 360-degree images or video “augmented reality” but it’s more like post-effect processing or static AR if they really want to stick with the augmented reality term.

The VIRB 360 certainly looks like a great piece of kit, especially for those already invested in the Garmin ecosystem and have other accessories. With the $799 price tag the real unsettler here, even with Garmin including a small tripod, it’s probably enough to put a lot of people off.

Nevertheless, if you’re interested in the VIRB 360, it goes on sale in June and we’d love to hear from you if you’re in the market for this device – drop us a comment below.


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