While at CP+ in Yokohama, Japan – Diginfo.TV reports that Ricoh have unveiled an omnidirectional camera that can take a full 360° panoramic image in one shot.
About the Omnidirectional Camera from Ricoh…
“It has two fish-eye lenses, each of which covers 180 degrees. The camera combines the two pictures, and sends them via Wi-Fi to a tablet or smartphone for viewing. The idea is, the pictures you take arrive automatically.”
“When viewing it like a regular panoramic image, you can also see up and down. When you pull out from the image, it finally becomes a circle, and you can also look at it as a sphere.”
“This camera represents a step beyond SLRs and compact cameras. The project began with the idea that, if taking spherical panoramic photos was easy, the results might be fun.”
“Currently, the camera takes still photos. But we’d like to enable it to handle video, too. We’re still just presenting this technology, so the specs haven’t been decided yet. Right now, we’re at the stage of seeing how people react. If people think this camera is fun, we’d like to commercialize it, and make it a bit smaller. We want to keep developing it, so we can offer a version for consumers.”
“This is a project we’re discussing with staff at art colleges. We think this technology could also be presented as a “panorama ball,” where the pictures are stuck onto a sphere.”
It’s always great to see camera companies trying new and innovative things, and I can already envision tons of applications for this technology. Imagine projecting the panoramic images on a spherical screen, like in a planetarium. You could immerse your viewers into any environment that you photograph. Kinda like IMAX on steroids. It’ll be interesting to see if this concept catches on. Stay Tuned…