Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Nico360 will have 4k at 24fps via firmware update

Nico360 is touted as the world's smallest fully spherical 360-degree camera.  When it was announced, the video resolution had been 1440p.  However, the Nico360 creators established a stretch goal at $200,000 to add 4k video.  They reached that milestone a while back.  But there were many questions about the 4k video, such as the framerate.  The creators have now added a little more information about the 4k video.

According to Nico360, the 4k video will be 3840 x 1920 @ 24fps.  This is a slightly lower framerate than the Samsung Gear 360 (3840 x 1920 @ 30 fps) but higher than the Insta360 4k beta (3840 x 1920 @ 15fps).  Nico360 also said they might be able to increase it to 25 to 30 fps by optimization.

Nico360 said that adding 4k capability will add one to two months to the production schedule.  Rather than delay the Nico360 production, they decided that they would release the Nico360 without the 4k capability.  The 4k capability can then be added via firmware update.

To me, this seems like the bottleneck is the processor.  I am speculating that they are experimenting with the bitrate to increase the framerate without choking the processor.  In this regard, Insta360's solution was to use a proprietary .INSV format which was more efficient than .mp4.  Perhaps Nico360 will use a similar approach.  This is just my speculation though.
The Nico360 is scheduled for release in October.  There are 7 days left in its crowdfunding campaign.