Cell Phone Accessories Imaging

Vyu360 lets you view 360-degree images, video on your smartphone

Capturing and viewing 360-degree video is becoming increasingly popular thanks to a growing number of virtual reality headsets and cameras.

patent-claimedVyu360 is a top-mounted, patent-pending smartphone accessory containing two panoramic lenses that capture 360-degree video and still images. It works in conjunction with Android and iOS smartphones, and uses their front and rear cameras. The accessory is made of elastic plastic housing, with a rigid rear and front lenses mount. A lens adjustment mechanism allows lenses to be aligned into position and work with different configurations.


360Mini projector shows your vistas wherever you look

An increasing number of cameras, including PanoCam3D, enable 360-degree shooting. But there are only a limited number of display devices that allow such still photos and videos to be seen the way they were shot.

360Mini is a media projector that can display 360-degree images and videos the same way they were shot: as a seamless 360-degree panorama. The three-foot-tall projector can be accessed via Wi-Fi to edit and upload data, and mobile devices can be used to navigate through the uploaded content or to control the projector, according to its Kickstarter campaign.

The projector ships in July. Future pricing isn’t provided by the campaign, but early bird backers can get one at pricing that starts at about $978. Its makers are hoping to raise $92,356 by Jan. 24.

360Mini is a clever concept and it’s likely going to be appealing to many people who have shot 360-degree photos or video. But it remains to be seen how popular 360-degree imaging is going to be and how often even fans of the technology are going to want to view such images.

Imaging Technology

360cam lets you enjoy video in the round

editors-choiceThe Premise. Work and laundry ensure that the period of time directly following a vacation or scenic journey is soaked with depression. This dark cloud is only magnified when trying to reconcile your memories of magnificent landscapes with lackluster photos subjected to your camera’s limitations.

The Product. The 360cam from GIROPTIC is a high definition 360° camera which helps defy some of these limitations, at least in terms of the frame. With three 185° fish-eye lenses synchronized in an almost unique egg-shaped form factor, the 360cam provides real time streaming, recorded video and still photos in a spherical 360° field of view.

The Pitch. The campaign video shows a group of friends using 360cam in real-life scenarios, showing off its use with different accessories like waterproof housing and light bulb adapter. It also features a universal mount which allows you to mount 360cam onto a monopod for easier leverage. GIROPTIC CEO Richard Ollier is featured towards the end of the video and speaks about the inspiration to provide an “immediate and immersive experience” to users, shares campaign details and explains why 360cam’s design is superior. The remainder of the page provides a plethora of information including features and specs, proprietary players to download for best viewing experience, and several photo galleries.

The Perks. Fifty fortunate early birds can back the project for $249 and receive a first production 360cam for an estimated 50% off retail value. Higher commitment levels include other 360cam accessories like underwater cups and Ethernet streaming base. For $4,999 you can be a 360cam visionary, meant for developers who want to integrate an existing app with tweaks to the hardware. The first 360cams are expected to ship in November this year.

The Potential. Interest in a camera with 360° capability seems to be picking up as different form factors arise and costs become more consumer-friendly. A similar kickstarter project called CENTR captures 360° videos in real time in one of the most streamlined designs to date. Additionally, EyeSee360 is expected to release the 360Fly camera in Fall 2014 which will be mountable and waterproof up to 5 meters (16 feet).