My friend just sent me a link to a very cool new camera. This is not your everyday point and shoot, its a specialty camera, a ball with 36 little cameras spread across it. It’s meant to be thrown in the air allowing you to take full 360° spherical panoramic photos. Not only does it span 360° on the horizon, but on the zenith (from the ground to the center of the sky and beyond) as well, giving a similar perspective to google street view, but even more complete. Check out the video below to see it in action…
It’s not yet available to the public, the people that created it are still looking for investors. As a hobby photographer I think it’s a cool concept, and would love to play around with it. Will definitely keep my eye on this one.
From their website: http://jonaspfeil.de/ballcamera…
Panoramic photography creates fascinating images. Very wide angle images are closer to the human field of view than conventional pictures. If seen through a panoramic viewer they let us experience a location as if we were there. Panoramic image stitching can create panoramas from pictures taken one after another. Unfortunately, acquiring the images takes a lot of time and moving objects may cause ghosting. It is also difficult to obtain a full spherical panorama, because the downward picture cannot be captured while the camera is mounted on the tripod.
In this work, we present a throwable panoramic camera that solves these problems. The camera is thrown into the air and captures an image at the highest point of flight – when it is hardly moving. The camera takes full spherical panoramas, requires no preparation and images are taken instantaneously. It can capture scenes with many moving objects without producing ghosting artifacts and creates unique images.
Our camera uses 36 fixed-focus 2 megapixel mobile phone camera modules. The camera modules are mounted in a robust, 3D-printed, ball-shaped enclosure that is padded with foam and handles just like a ball. Our camera contains an accelerometer which we use to measure launch acceleration. Integration lets us predict rise time to the highest point, where we trigger the exposure. After catching the ball camera, pictures are downloaded in seconds using USB and automatically shown in our spherical panoramic viewer. This lets users interactively explore a full representation of the captured environment.
We used the camera to capture full spherical panoramas at scenic spots, in a crowded city square and in the middle of a group of people taking turns in throwing the camera. Above all we found that it is a very enjoyable, playful way to take pictures.
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