New display technologies are often introduced hand-in-hand with image capturing tools and higher quality content. One only needs to look at 4K televisions and monitors, and the current push for 4K resolution in both high-end cameras and smartphones to see a clear example.
For the next step in display technology, however, a new type of image capturing device will be required – one that can capture environments with a far larger field of view.
One company is taking the initiative here, with the recently launched 360cam Kickstarter campaign.
What is it?
The 360cam, developed by a company called GIROPTIC in Lille, France, is able to capture video and images and stream them in real-time over WiFi. The device is shaped like an egg, with three 180 degree fish-eye lenses bound together in an optical assembly.
When the camera is recording or taking a photo, the lenses synchronise to simultaneously capture and stitch images. When it's later viewed on a computer (or through a VR headset) users can immersively look around the captured content.
What's more, the device really is nearly the size of an egg, and can be placed in the palm of the user.
A GPS, a gyroscope and three microphones are located within the device, along with support for a Micro SD card. The camera uses a rechargeable lithium battery to handle power, and can also be charged and transfer content through a USB cable.
On the face of the device, a curved LED screen is able to show the mode that's currently being filmed, along with any other relevant data.
The 360cam is essentially the next field of view step for devices like the GoPro, where a small unit able to be mounted anywhere is required.
Devices like the 360cam could become the equipment of choice for VR cinematographers who want an affordable and new way of capturing content.
The 360cam units are expected to be shipped in November 2014, following further development and production.