Google this week announced the launch of a new certification program for 360-degree cameras that it’s calling “Street View ready,” and there are already 20 certified devices to be released this year.
Street View is already a well-known brand, and one of the more popular products in the VR and 360 realms. With this announcement, Google is hoping to make it easy for creatives, professionals and amateurs alike to create VR and 360-degree products and upload them to Google’s services — provided that they are armed with one of those 20 upcoming “Street View ready” cameras. Among the ones due to debut this year are products from GoPro, Samsung and Matterport.
“Whether you’re sharing your experience at a local market or on your recent vacation, publishing high-quality interactive imagery no longer requires significant time and effort,” Google’s Charles Armstrong wrote in a blog post Tuesday. “All you have to do is get one of the cameras, download the Street View app and start creating.”
The Street View ready certification is further classified into four different categories, each with its own goal and direction.
Mobile-ready devices are built to publish Street View photos to the web through a mobile app.
Auto-ready devices are specifically designed to collect images from cars or other vehicles.
VR-ready devices are tailor-made to create 360-degree virtual reality content through collected geometry and connected photos.
Workflow-ready certification applies to publishing tools, either bundled with cameras or sold on their own, that can upload content to Street View.
Sphericam Auto-ready Camera
On the other side, with its “Street View ready” program, Google seems to be enticing manufacturers to take part in the emerging VR and 360 industries that its own system is spearheading. Once a particular product is evaluated by Google, the Mountain View company will allow them to market said product with a badge — and to promote them on Google’s various websites and apps.
In the blog post, Armstrong said that the 20 certified cameras would become available “over the coming months.” Other than that, exact release date and pricing information is currently unknown.