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A digital camera that takes a 360 degree image
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(+3, -2)
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This is a sphere made of a resilient and transparent material. Suspended in the center of the sphere are two super-wide (maybe 10.5 or the Nikkor 6mm) lenses back-to- back, and two shutter/CCD mechanisms sandwitched between them.

The Sphere would carry a memory card that you could access by twisting and seperating the two hemispheres.

The idea is that you could either place the Sphere on a surface (or special transparent stand) or toss it in the air if it can be made strong enough. You then fire the shutters simultaneously using a remote control or timer. The camera's software tags the two recorded images which are then stiched together using the bundled software.

Applications include:

Consumer: It would just be fun to use

Real Estate/Architecture: quickly and simply create a Quicktime VR file for customers to explore a space

Sports: Imagine a transparent Volly Ball that also took pictures of the match?

Military: A Morter fires the camera into a combat zone or dangerous area. The Sphere is programmed to fire just before hitting the ground, and transmits the image back to central command

Photofreak, Jul 12 2005

The Nikkor 6mm http://www.digitalb....de/nikon/comp9.htm
That's an eight inch front element. [coprocephalous, Jul 12 2005]

Columbia University's approach to 360° at-once capture. http://www1.cs.colu...kman_IUW_1998_2.pdf
PDF file - Clever. [bristolz, Jul 12 2005]


       Given that software exists to convert a series of regular pictures into a 360 degree view, you're not likely to find many takers in the commercial world.   

       But it would probably be useful for surveillance purposes.
DrCurry, Jul 12 2005

       I think [Photofreak] is looking at capturing light from every direction, not just 360 degrees on the horizontal. This also sounds quicker and easier (although harder to build) than the usual photo-stitching method.
wagster, Jul 12 2005

       Simpler to fit an old Alpa Roto with a linear CCD and an encoder on the film advance roller - those Nikkor 6mms are HUGE.
sp. "sandwiched" "separating" "stitched" "mortar" "volley"
Welcome to the HB [PF].
coprocephalous, Jul 12 2005

       //either place the Sphere on a surface (or special transparent stand) or toss it in the air//   

       Either way, is this a real advantage over the 360-degree panoramic mirror lenses? They cover an impressive area in one shot, with a single "standard" camera, and don't require toting a sphere.
But work on it a while -- panoramic shots are just plain cool!
Amos Kito, Jul 12 2005

       [Amos] - I repeat, I think [Photofreak] wants a single shot of *everything*. Panoramic mirror lenses only capture the horizontal axis, they photograph neither what is above them, nor what is below. This would be a real advance, although possibly more cool than useful.
wagster, Jul 12 2005

       Granted, It would be more fun then useful. At least until the technology is streamlined, but someone once said: "to hell with practicality". I couldn't agree more. But those Columbia students seem to have me beat (by 7 years!). Thanks for the welcome, I'm looking forward to much silliness and many strokes of genuine brilliance (by the bunch of ya) in my time here.
Photofreak, Jul 12 2005


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