A unique camera kit you can throw in the air to capture panoramic still images will be demonstrated at IBC writes Adrian Pennington
The throwable Panoramic Ball Camera takes a full spherical panorama when thrown into the air. At the peak of its flight a full panoramic image is captured instantaneously by thirty-six 2 Megapixel mobile phone camera modules.
Its ability to photograph every direction at once makes it ideal for capturing the atmosphere of a broad range of situations, like crowds of people, public speeches, music festivals or conflict zones.
According to its inventor, Jonas Pfiel, “The camera is easy to transport, requires no set-up and is extremely intuitive to use. Our smartphone apps and web publishing platform enable a seamless workflow from taking the image to publishing it to the audience. Conventional techniques for capturing panoramic images have either low resolution or cannot be used with moving subjects,” he explains.
“The user simply throws the ball shaped camera into the air. The images required to cover every direction are taken simultaneously while the camera is suspended in mid-air at the highest point in its flight.”
Every direction is covered (even up and down) and the single images are combined into single panoramic images afterwards. It can capture scenes with many moving objects without producing ghosting artefacts.
The modules are mounted in a robust, 3D-printed, ball-shaped enclosure that is padded with foam. It contains an accelerometer which is used to measure launch acceleration and to predict rise time to the highest point which triggers the exposure.
After catching the ball camera, pictures are downloaded in seconds using USB and automatically shown in a spherical viewfinder. New for IBC will be improved post-processing software which Pfeil says will make for even better and more beautiful panoramas.
Pfeil and his business partners are currently seeking an investor or third party to license out further development and production. His partners include Bernd Bickel is a research group leader at Disney Research Zurich. Pfeil is a computer engineer who recently graduated with a Diplom (M.Sc.) from the TU Berlin.
The team have also invented an augmented reality version of the game Bridge Builder and a robotic Styrofoam cutter.
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