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Technologies / Panono: Panoramic Ball Camera

Nov 17, 2013 | Technology, Olenberger

Panono: Panoramic Ball Camera

Spin your smartphone or tablet around to look in different directions. Even up or down. You can also pinch or spread the image to explore more detail and find things the photographer might not even have noticed when taking the shot.

Now the Panono Camera makes it possible ...

... to capture everything in every direction in a very high resolution image. Through your Panono Camera, you can freeze the surprise birthday party, the wedding dance floor, the football game, the best concert ever, or that amazing sunset in a whole new fascinating way.

... to share these incredible full-spherical images with others in a way that lets them easily explore and experience the memory as though they were present with you when you took the picture.

How does it work? You simply toss the Panono straight up into the air without too much rotation and it will automatically capture a panorama at the highest point. Your image is then wirelessly sent to your smartphone for a quick preview and further to our free cloud stitching service.

The Panono Camera contains an accelerometer, which — when the camera is tossed up — measures the launch acceleration to calculate when the ball will reach its apex. Right there, where it is barely moving before its descent, the 36 fixed-focus cameras fire at the same time to take a 72 megapixel, high-resolution, full-spherical image. A complete 360° X 360° memory is captured.

Diameter: 4.33 inches (11 cm), Weight: 0.66 pounds (300 grams), Camera body: Tough clear plastic, Cameras: 36 fixed focus cameras, Total resolution: 72 MP, Mobile App: for iOS6+ and Android4+

Contains internal flash memory to store about 400 panoramas when used without a smartphone or tablet connection. The wireless connection will use Bluetooth or WiFi. The camera battery recharges through a USB port.

Jonas Pfeil, Panono creator, president and co-founder, was working on his master’s degree in computer engineering at the Technical University of Berlin when it struck him (while on adventure in Tonga) that taking panoramic pictures should be easier than taking multiple single shots and later stitching them together on a PC.

He toyed around with the idea of throwing a ball into the air to capture images and decided to explore the possibility as the subject for his master’s thesis. In 2011, he presented his thesis and introduced a prototype of his “Throwable Panoramic Ball Camera” at SIGGRAPH Asia, one of the world’s premier computer graphics conferences. Shortly thereafter, with his master’s degree in hand, a international patent pending and a tremendous amount of media interest in his invention, Pfeil formed a company in October 2012 to explore the commercialization of his invention. Now in 2013, with a new design, he and co-founders Björn Bollensdorff and Qian Qin introduce Panono, a throwable panoramic ball camera that delivers the first-ever 360° X 360° panoramic images that capture everything in every direction.

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