(Phys.org) —Canada-based startup called Bubl Technology, founded in 2011, wants you to imagine being able to capture life in its bublcam, making, as it says, 360 degrees of your world available any time. The company has come up with prototypes of a little baseball-like gadget that is really four cameras arranged in a tetrahedral design, allowing a user to take photos and video. Sean Ramsey, founder and CEO, said the idea for the product was seeded some years ago, while he was working with a company in turn working with Google on a Street View project. Why not create a camera, he thought, to be capable of spherical footage for uses other than mapping? Why not use it for other things, such as panoramic photos?
He and other team members started thinking in terms of technology that could support a device that was small, portable,and affordable. For the last two years, the company's focus has been on the end goal of a market ready spherical camera that captures 100 percent of the spherical range through panoramic photos and videos. The company's hardware CTO, Dan Mills, explained: "We designed the camera in a tetrahedral [patent pending] orientation…there are no blind spots because each camera overlaps the adjoining camera." The camera's form factor is distinctive, as a baseball size device that is light and easy to carry around. Applications potentially, are many, including the use of the bublcam in-real estate, gaming and sports, as well as security and surveillance. The bublcam is capable of recording video at 30fps at 720p or 15fps at 1080p and exports MP4 format.
For the casing, the team is using four solid aluminum die-cast structural rings. According to the company, however, the "true innovation of the bublcam is its software that allows a single, 4 quadrant multiplexed image to be stitched into a sphere. We utilize a heat mapped blending process in order to blend the final photos and videos. These are what we like to call digital bubls."
The team continues to work on the device to bring it to market and, at this stage, has fully functional working prototypes. The company has turned to Kickstarter to bring the device to market. "We have been working on bubl for the past two years and we've come a long way. But now we need your help," said the campaign message. "Your support will allow us to initiate tooling, manufacturing and software development so we can make bublcam and our software available to you and the millions of people who have never before had a 360º camera option."
At the time of this writing, they have garnered $83,391 out of their $100,000 goal with 38 days to go. The target shipping date for the device, priced at over $400, is May next year.
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