Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it’s a 360° camera! Although I personally think it looks a little like a funky speaker/sound system…
Equipped with three 10 million pixel sensors and 3 fish-eye objective lenses covering 180° each, the Girocam is the new 360° camera produced by Lille-based company Giroptic. Contrary to most traditional solutions that use a spherical mirror, this new product is capable of capturing an entire frame of vision in a single click. In other words, now just about anyone can take and distribute high quality 360° photos on the internet – no tech skills needed.
The Girocam officially went on sale on April 7th and is currently being sold at a starting price of €1500 (not including tax). The product is primarily targeted towards real estate and tourism industries but could have practical applications for construction and security-related businesses as well.
The technology used for the 360° camera is actually very similar to that used by Google Street View or Urbandive. However, the Girocam obviously fits in places that the Google Car can’t always access.
When a photographer clicks to take a photo, 3 separate images are taken by the 3 Girocam lenses. These then need to be assembled, which is done using an integrated technology developed by another French company called Kolor (not to be confused with Color). In 2010, Kolor helped to generate one of the largest pictures, Paris 26 Gigapixels – an image of France’s capital made by assembling 2,346 individual photos.
For the moment, all the Girocams are being made in France – although it is possible to purchase them abroad via distributors, in countries like Poland, Belgium and South Africa. The company – which was founded in 2008 – is currently in the process of securing its first round of funding to finance the development of a number of additional 360° image solutions. For example, additional features will be built into the Girocam towards the end of this year – like the ability to reconstruct a location in 3D from the 360° image. A 360° video solution is also to be released around the same.