(via Jonas Pfeil)
Until now, creating a panoramic photograph where each image is taken at the same time requires many cameras in an expensive setup, like how bullet time is captured for the Matrix films. A team from the Technical University of Berlin, lead by Jonas Pfeil, have packed 36 cell-phone cameras into a "throwable" ball.
The user simply throws the ball into the air. An onboard accelerometer will detect when the ball reaches the height of its travel, and a 36 picture, 360 degree, panorama is created. This is to be sure that there is the least amount of motion for capturing everything in that moment. The pictures are stitched together in software to create an interactive picture. A "fish-eye" take on the scene is the result. (I hope someday the 360 degree panorama will be a more first person, natural looking, panorama.)
At the heart of the ball are 36 (fixed-focus) 2 megapixel cameras, an , and an unspecified amount of microcontrollers. The output image is either in JPEG or TIF format. All images are under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported license, disseminate as you wish. However, all pictures created by the ball must include a link to Jonas Pfeil's website. (Very clever marketing, Jonas.)
The Throwable Panoramic Ball Camera will be demonstrated in Hong Kong during the December 13-15 Siggraph Asia conference. (For those in the area.)
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