I was at the meet and greet cast in a prominent venture capital firm this week, and it was quite enjoyable. There were friendly faces, conversations and a couple of people huddled around a table in the corner. Wait. This is so not “social”. I went to investigate, and what did they do? Check out the virtual reality of course. Ready or not, here it comes.

Trying to get through the noise and hype that surrounds the BP can be overwhelming, but there is clearly the real world uses it to make exciting future technology. Lucid flew through the noise for me. What is going to bring “the future” in the “now” is the killer application that consumers can understand, and more importantly afford.

This is where comes in Lucid.

Company prototype point and shoot camera VR, which is ridiculously easy to use, looks great, does not require post-production user and will cost $ 299. Sounds like crazy, is not it? I thought so, and so does their team … which makes things even more interesting. I met with the CEO of Lucid in Han Jin, and we talked about the future of VR as he sees it.

This is clear just another wannabe “crowdfunded” company? Even if you find LucidCam on Indiegogo, I say “not even close.”

Why now?

Virtual Reality continues to receive a lot of momentum in the range of technologies (including entrepreneurs and investors), but the struggle continues to gain mainstream audience excited about what’s to come. Google is trying to change that with its cardboard project and The New York Times said the board sent from the readers along with the paper this week. YouTube is also in on the act in a big way.

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I watched the NBA game in BP, and it was pretty cool. A lot of people play the game in a way that they have dreamed of all my life. But what happens to capture “the average American?” As a mom is going to get into the Verkhovna Rada?

This is what interested me most Lucid.

robots and prototypes

IMG_6455 Gene and Lucid raised an undisclosed amount of money from an unnamed investor, but behind the wheel of his interest LucidCam with Indiegogo campaign is almost half way to the $ 100,000 with about 48 days left to go.

When Han and his team were his work on arrangement of robots with cameras, they copied the design from the security cameras. Robots nevertheless receive the command, thinking about the idea of ​​experiencing other things in places where they are not physically. Using the headset Oculus drive it around in different offices outside them. They are the prototype of the prototype, I realized that the camera itself, shooting at BP, will be far greater than is possible with a robot … so they broke their “eyes” to work on LucidCam. You can not move the robot in your pocket, you can not take it to the Taylor Swift concert.

In addition, the video capture 360 ​​degrees in 2D tied to the robot raised questions, and it is possible that you will walk the thing right through the wall.

When I asked him how he felt when he saw the first video from the robot VR eyes attached to a real board, Jin said:

This was a low-resolution video, shot and tested with (Oculus) DK1. We took the video from our friend’s child, and the child begins to crawl to you. The experience was great. At that time, it was 1 1/2 years ago, everything was Oculus games, basically. We knew where we wanted to take it after the first video.

IMG_2716 I sat through the trial and his mother, as a rule, look at you (devices, in fact), and it’s not a big deal. And then the child briefly, and the unit was in excellent eye level, because I felt that it creeps towards me when we made eye contact. I can imagine that this demo gets Lucid many Followup meetings in the valley.

Lucid builds a Flip camera, but for VR. Flip the camera was hot before Apple, so their mega packed into a tiny camera phone and took the point and shoot photo and video market. Do you want to show it to someone? They download Lucid application, drop them an iPhone or Android phone to check in cardboard frames. No need to buy an expensive headset developer or even Samsung mechanism VR.

We did a quick walk around the office TechCrunch BP using LucidCam, and it is available for viewing within 10 minutes.

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Design

“I wanted to build it for me,” Jean told me.

Lucid industrial designer took his inspiration from a lot of use of the device on a daily basis, Apple Mouse.

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This is a great device in its current form, he shoots 180 degrees in order to stay away from issues that stitching has a 360-degree video. Again, we are talking about consumer applications, taking the camera out of his pocket and shooting time in a soccer match your child. You do not want to use a tripod or turn in circles until your child is playing. It is unnatural and does not make a difference as soon as you see the final product of the technology in Lucid. This slick and high resolution. Going with the 180 also helps to keep the file size down. About a minute from one of their cells only 35 megabytes … which is impressive and can be sent to the people in a snap.

Keeping it short is important because shooting in BP, with facilities such as the upcoming Lucid kit, is not only expensive, but it takes a ridiculous amount of time. Subsequent processing takes 5 to 6 hours for some demonstrations and Jean called it “incredibly painful”.

there is a clear increasing VR installation needs though, larger sensors Sony, which absorb all light and microphones on both sides to take the stereo. What you lack the bells and whistles, though. Bells and whistles as iris control, you probably would not want to anyway.

You run around with that thing, you have your phone. It is important to capture amazing moments.

Want to shoot 360 and I think that Lucid is not for you? Well, they thought of that too. Since the device itself are rounded at the edges, you can buy three of them and buy a special stand that keeps them in a triangular formation:

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Smart.

Team

I love my job

-. Lucid CEO Han Jin

Clear team there are 12 people in total, 3 of which are founders, hardware 2 people and only 1 industrial designer. First of all, they are built around software, optics and 3D-graphics.

One of the things that says Lucid is an advantage for them is their ability to quickly iterate. They are not part of a large floating society, they can literally change things 15-20 times a day, and that’s how the process has been going on. Now the team is playing around with a Wi-Fi connection for your device livestreaming. Although she can not do it in the first iteration, which hopes to send something at the beginning of 2016, it shows that listening to Lucid early feedback.

IMG_6459 Gene likes to send his team to shoot things like Elton John concert, someone even took the assignment of shooting their free fall adventure. “Yes, R & D,” said Gene.

“I love my job.” He continued.

Another member of the team will play the Miami Heat next week. Armed with a court places it is not going to shoot the whole game, but try to get these great moments, like dunk from Chris Bosh. Moments where the consumption of VR video will be removed. The film is a documentary … … years of experience, not where the masses come. We do not know how long we have to wear headphones or display these lenses for a while, but it can not be hours at a time … I can tell you that from experience.

30 seconds of a basketball game? On the cycle? How do I really? Perfect.

Mom and the future of

I asked Gene if his mother, who lives in Germany, he realized that he was working on. It is not long before he helped her to use the application with cardboard and sent her a message on here in the States.

“If what you’re working on makes you feel closer to me, then that’s fine.” She said Gina.

at all important production side, Jin says that China is a likely place where it will be held. They are still making tweaks, though, but not too much because they want to stay around the $ 299 price that the sweet spot for any type of point and shoot camera, not to mention that it was built to shoot virtual reality. Things like waterproofing will be waiting.

Jin also tells me that more round of funding is on the way, but he was not in a hurry, said to me: “I know that it will take time, but consumer adoption will be slow.” Setting up production will to be “expensive”, he also claims ,, which is where that comes in a round of financing. Indiegogo will not be the end-all-be-all for the company, which is nice to hear. Those who rely on prickly buzz from campaigns like that tend to die quickly.

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One interesting users of the product in the production of houses, which have expensive installations for VR. They can use LucidCam run out and get some test shots. No need to lug around 8 GoPros (or six-figure futuristic Lytro Immerge), 8 cards Micro SD, or anything else that if something glitches, you get nothing. Clear is great for experimenting, too, in this way. Brands are also interested, wondering how they can quickly remove the contents of VR for people who are slowly building up in the virtual world.

Bright future for Lucid, and as long as they keep having fun, the final product will reflect this.

This will be an uphill battle, especially to reach the point of delivery of the first units in the hands of the consumer. Technology is only as good as the number of people who have it in their possession. If Lucid takes things slow and easy, less on the slow side, they can build that Flip cameras for VR. But can successfully fend off the fatal blow to Apple, which flip did? Early days, but interesting ones, once you cut through the noise.