Motorola announces 360 degree camera ‘Moto Mod’ for $300
posted Tuesday, July 25, 2017 at 12:10 PM EDT
This morning, Motorola announced a new phone called the Moto Z2 Force Edition, which I encourage you to check out since one of the main selling points is that it is impossible to shatter or break the screen (neat, if true). However, more related to the imaging space is their latest Moto Mod: a 4K 360 degree camera. In case you were not familiar, Moto Mods are magnetically affixed, interchangeable modifications to certain Motorola phones. To this point, Motorola had released a few, including a Hasselblad camera mod, a standalone speaker, and a projector. Today that expands with the addition of a 360 degree 4K camera. It sounds like an excellent way to commoditize VR and get more people to make 360 degree content, until you get to the price: $300. That's not chump change.
Motorola lists a few features that might make that price point worth it:
- 360° photos and 4K video with 3D sound
- 150° ultra wide-angle photos: Capture ultra wide-angle front and rear images, giving your still photos a perspective you can’t get from any other smartphone.
- Advanced editing software: Edit your 360° photos and videos right from your phone. Advanced editing software allows you to easily adjust 360 content to fit your needs.
- Stream or share: Live stream your 360° videos on your social media channels. Or, share them in the moment—right from your Google Photos app.
- Click to share: Sends to friends or straight to social media, right from the Google Photos app
- Go live: Live stream in 360° to your social network
- Moto 360 Camera is compatible with any phone in the Moto Z Family
After digging through the Motorola website, I did manage to find a couple full resolution images that were taken with the camera, and they look pretty much like I expected. They're not super crisp or sharp at full resolution, but neither are any of the competitor products I've seen thus far that sell for anywhere near the $300 price point of the Mod. Oddly, Motorola did not release any completed video footage taken with the camera (at least not yet), so it's hard to fully judge its capability.
This is a logical step for Motorola, however. VR and 360 degree content is hot right now, and if they can jump on that popularity bandwagon with a product that's easy for consumers to use and enjoy, then it's a win. For the target market, quality likely doesn't matter as much as sharing and ease of use. The price point might be a sticking point though, as it might be too high to attract enough buyers to really send the product flying off the shelves.