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There is no need for us to envy the flying insects for not having the amazing compound vision. Scientists at an University in Berlin have come to our rescue with a “throw and shoot” camera that has multiple sensor units which can snap a single full circular panorama when its thrown.
This throw and shoot ball camera uses thirty-six two megapixel cellphone camera modules that are evenly distributed around a 3D printed spherical enclosure. It’s also padded to encourage people to toss it around just like a toy, and to probably help it survive landings when it doesn’t get caught. An accelerometer inside measures the launch acceleration when the ball is thrown, which is used to calculate when it will reach its apogee, at which point a single stitched photo is captured. The images can then be offloaded to a PC via a simple USB connection, where they can be enjoyed in all their 360 degree panoramic glory using a custom viewer.
The Throwable Panoramic Ball Camera, as it’s aptly named, has been in development since 2010. It started life as a research project, but has reached the point where its creators intend to show it off at Siggraph Asia 2011 in December. And hopefully find an investor who wants to make it a reality. Because besides being just a damn cool concept, the ball makes it way easier for novice photographers to capture panoramas / 360 degree shots.
Photos come up without blur since the exposure is done only when the ball is at its highest point and has less movement. A gadget I love to have!