Wednesday, November 30, 2011

All-seeing ball snaps panoramas in mid-air

Throw a typical camera in the air and you're unlikely to capture anything stunning. But now a new ball-shaped camera, created by Jonas Pfeil from the Technical University of Berlin and colleagues, is designed to be tossed upwards to snap panoramas in mid-air.
The rubber ball, which contains 36 cellphone cameras, barely moves at the highest point of its trajectory so the photos it captures aren't blurred by movement. A built-in accelerometer measures in-flight speed to detect this stationary point and trigger the cameras. Software then stitches the pictures together into a spherical panoramic image.
The team developed the system to simplify panoramic photography, which normally involves painstakingly connecting several different images.
The ball will be demonstrated at Siggraph Asia, a conference on computer graphics and interactive techniques, from December 13-15 in Hong Kong.
If you enjoyed this post, check out an off-the-shelf camera that was hacked to capture high-speed video or see how a handheld device can see through objects.

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