Coming this spring, two competing panoramic cameras are going to be released to consumers. Both are shaped like spheres and easily fit into the palm of your hand. They’re equipped with multiple lenses and take full spherical panoramas. Wide-angle cameras and industrial 360-degree cameras have already been on the market for a while, so what sets these two apart?
These two projects utilize tackle hardware and software together as a solution. The cameras are able to stich multiplex pictures together and let users explore the scene all around them almost in real time. If you are familiar with Google’s street view, it uses similar technology but adopted for a mass market. It is a new way to produce video content and also an inexpensive opportunity to surprise your audience. Let’s take a look at the gadgets.
Bublcam captures four separate camera views that overlap and ensure zero blind spots. The camera can capture still panoramic shots and spherical video. An inbound WiFi option let users broadcast their video stream in real time. The basic version of Bublcam can be pre-ordered for $609 with shipping to the U.S. The manufacturer also has plans to release an advanced model, which will provide a higher image resolution, next year.
Panono camera doesn’t just look like a ball, it literally is a ball. You can throw it up in the air, and as soon as the gadget reaches its highest point, all 36 cameras nestled inside fire simultaneously. Alternatively, you can use a stick to hold the camera up above a scene. Image processing is done automatically in the cloud, and you can enjoy an output panorama on the mobile device connected via WiFi or Bluetooth. For now, it only takes still images but beats the competition with higher image resolution. An entertaining nature of the concept has allowed the owners to pull in more interest to their crowdsourcing project than their competitors. The current pre-order price is $579 with shipping to the U.S.
There’s another upcoming gadget worth mentioning in this review since it uses the same principle and also provides a software-hardware bound solution. The Geonaute, a 360-degree action camera, has three wide-angle cameras creating an almost-spherical view — 360 degrees horizontal and 150 degrees vertical. It is capable of taking video and photos, and the pieces are stitched together in the camera output. Of the three, it is probably the best action camera, but it suffers from vertical distortion, which is not the case with the spherical cameras. It costs only $499 if ordered now for the US customers
Panoramic scenes showcases
To learn how it all works, you can play with videos and photos on the manufacturers’ websites:
A new technology’s success is up to the people who buy it and use it, who would see potential in the spherical representation of reality and how to utilize it. So, how can fashion e-commerce can take advantage of this new technology?
Stay tuned and be inspired!
Sean Ramsay, CEO of Bublcam, told TechCrunch he came up with the idea when a client at his former ad agency asked him for an experience where a car, on a screen, could be viewable from all angles. However, these cameras put the observer, not the object of observation, in the center. This is the first principle. Thus, it is not the route to observe the product, but the surroundings around you. The second principle is that the viewer is interactively involved in the process. This has the potential to entertain visitors, create a feel-and-touch experience and place them into a center of the brand’s universe.
For example, we can allow the buyer to virtually visit a local store. With the help of a video, the visitor can come in, look around, fill the atmosphere and even select some clothes. Bublcam and Geonaute platforms are running with an open API, and hopefully the developers can add more interactivity to the viewers.
And how about a new kind of fashion show? It could place the viewer in the center of the action. Viewers can choose where to look, and what is worth their attention. If you allow guests to follow a model with their eyes when she passes by, they will value that experience. By the way, Panono was a guest on the Hugo Boss fashion show in New York this fall and I will follow up with them to find out more.
My last idea is for wedding boutiques. Girls dream about their wedding want to know what to walk up the aisle with to attract the glances of guests. Let them live this experience virtually, and you can count on a viral effect to promote your brand.
I also wonder if the new gadgets will start a new era for the selfie. For sure, we need to keep an eye on social platforms like Play Geonaute to track the progress of new trends.