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GoPro Buys Virtual Reality Company Kolor Because Extreme Sports Aren't Terrifying Enough

Bringing VR to extreme sports and YouTube thrill seekers.

Thinkstock / gregepperson

GoPro was in a perfect position to capitalize on the advent of Web video, as its hardy cameras gave users a way to film everything from rock climbing to surfing pigs to dropping out of planes in a flying squirrel suit.

And now, in order to get a foothold in virtual reality, GoPro is acquiring French software company Kolor for an undisclosed sum.

What Kolor does is pretty straightforward: Its software stitches together photos and video to create an immersive, interactive video player that works kind of like Google Street View. You can look in all directions through the player like you’re at the center of a sphere, hence spherical media. Previously, Kolor and Intel collaborated on YouTube’s first interactive VR video, which was filmed using — you guessed it — GoPro cameras.

It’s not too different from what the cinematic virtual reality company Jaunt is doing, except Kolor’s videos are available to view online without VR goggles, or may be accessed through a mobile app rather than as standalone downloads like Jaunt’s Paul McCartney video.

Much like its investments in cool YouTube content made by GoPro users, snazzy spherical videos from Kolor will probably help GoPro sell more cameras down the line.

Apple iOS users can download Kolor’s 360-degree video player Kolor Eyes here and Android users here, but for the full VR experience you’ll need a smartphone-VR headset like Google Cardboard. People on Chrome can check out Kolor Eyes here, and other Web browsers here.

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