Saturday, November 16, 2013

Panono - a Throwable 360º Panoramic Ball Camera

Although it's true that anyone can snap a 360º panoramic image these days using their smartphones; it is also true that it still requires quite a bit of time and careful alignment of the camera in order to cover the entire virtual sphere surrounding you. This also makes it quite hard to capture a decent 360º panorama in places where there is movement.

If you truly love panoramas and you're willing to get it done instantly, then you need to check out this Panono in Indiegogo. It's a "ball" that has 36 cameras pointing outwards, that capture a full 360º panoramic image when you throw it into the air - the device automatically detects when its at the highest point (probably using accelerometers to detect when acceleration reaches zero.)  Then the resulting panoramic image can be transferred to your smartphone using WiFi or Bluetooth, and be embedded in a web page, like this:

It certainly looks amazing and Panono isn't shy about asking $900,000 dollars for its campaign. It's quite a lot, but they've already managed to get over $227,000 and still have 50 days to go... so anything's possible.

My only gripe is that the Panono camera is quite expensive. At $594 is out of the reach of any casual user looking for a way to spice up their family album. However... if you're a professional photographer looking for an original way to stand out from the crowd... $594 might not be such a bad deal after all, if it ends up booking all your free time for the rest of the year.

Now... if only they could provide us with digitally 360º stabilized video... :)

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