Facebook's new algorithm will help save VR movies from shaky-cam

The social networking company has created a 360 degree video stabilization algorithm

Facebook wants to make sure that any VR home movies shared on its social network won't make people puke. That's why the company is building a new video stabilization algorithm that will help smooth out all of the bumps and shakes that come from wielding a 360-degree camera. 

The new algorithm is designed for stabilizing 360-degree videos in particular, something that Facebook says is important for addressing the growing amount of spherical footage. Previous stabilization technology was designed primarily for videos with a smaller field of view because they were usually taken with traditional 2D cameras. 

It's an important step for Facebook, which has been focused on virtual reality content and 360-degree video, especially after its US$2 billion acquisition of VR hardware maker Oculus in 2014. The social network introduced support for 360-degree video a year ago and has been pushing it ever since. 

One of the potential issues with using virtual reality to view 360-degree video is that camera shake and other instability could lead to serious motion sickness. By smoothing that out, Facebook may make viewing 360-degree video on its platform more palatable. 

The algorithm isn't being rolled out in production yet, but the company plans to deploy it across the Facebook and Oculus platforms, Facebook research scientist Johannes Kopf said in a blog post.

Kopf is no stranger to image stabilization projects: He spearheaded Microsoft's Hyperlapse research project, which aimed to smooth out videos shot with first-person cameras, like a GoPro. He clearly took that expertise to Facebook, because the 360 video algorithm also supports hyperlapse technology for spherical video. That means the algorithm could smooth out and speed up footage shot from a long hike or bike ride.  

The 360 video news comes alongside a pair of other Facebook announcements from the @Scale conference in San Jose. Facebook unveiled a new MySQL storage engine called MyRocks that's based on the company's RocksDB persistent key-value store.

The company is also open sourcing Zstandard, a new compression algorithm that's supposed to provide significant performance gains compared to Deflate, the current standard compression technology.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags Facebook

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Blair Hanley Frank

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Matthew Stivala

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

The HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer is a great device that fits perfectly into my fast paced and mobile lifestyle. My first impression of the printer itself was how incredibly compact and sleek the device was.

Armand Abogado

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

Wireless printing from my iPhone was also a handy feature, the whole experience was quick and seamless with no setup requirements - accessed through the default iOS printing menu options.

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?