A few years ago in Prague I met a guy named Jeffrey Martin who is one of the world’s best panoramic photographers. At that time he had a bunch of weird hardware that took mostly panoramic photos but he’s since branched out to video, building his own methods for capturing 360-degree scenes. The Sphericam is his invention and it looks pretty amazing.
The project is now on Kickstarter and for $599 you can get the entry-level model which includes:
More expensive units include more features topping out at $2,000 for a unit with WiFi streaming and a huge battery for field reporting. Obviously this isn’t for the the dabbler, but it’s still cool that you can get a device that essentially videos an entire environment for less than a price of an entry-level DSLR.
The device takes 1280×1024 video using four 640×512 cameras with 170-degree fisheye lenses. It records directly onto an SD card (or via the network) and includes a small monitor. Jeffrey is doing the engineering in Prague and hopes to commercialize the technology after completing the Kickstarter. He’s off to a very good start.
Why would you want this? Well, you can grab some odd and clever effects like this fisheye video of, well, fish.
You can also take wild video like the bike ride above, which is perfect if you’re making something to show at your next rave or LSD-ingesting party. He’s looking for $10,000, which shouldn’t be hard considering the pricing.
You can check out the Sphericam project here and look at more video.