Monday, 17 Oct, 2011 Technology

Latest Invention: Ball Camera You Can Throw in the Air to Make Panoramic Images


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Jonas Pfeil, a computer engineer who graduated from the Technical University of Berlin, teamed up with a group of likeminded people to make the process of taking pictures more entertaining.

The team managed to come up with a "ball" camera. Their foam-covered spherical device measures 8 inches in diameter and is equipped with 36 small 2-megapixel cameras, which are usually used in mobile phones.

When the user throws the round camera in the air, the accelerometer inside the device begins analyzing the altitude and when the camera has reached the highest point it starts taking pictures. In the end the user gets beautiful and accurate panoramic images.

In order to view the 72-megapixel pictures, it is required to connect the device to a spherical panoramic viewer via USB (the viewer comes with the camera). Pictures resemble those on Google Street View. They can also be zoomed and rotated to observe all the details.

It would be interesting to note that the multi-faceted casing of the ballcam was manufactured with the help of a 3D printer. Inside the device, besides the camera and accelerometer, one will be able to find 2 Atmel microcontrollers that sync up and manage all 32 cameras.

Due to the fact that most of the components used to make the ball camera are rather expensive, it is possible that the device could cost like mid-range digital cameras when it hits the market.

The ball camera is expected to be officially unveiled at SIGGRAPH Asia 2011 that will take place this December.

[via Jonas Pfeil]

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