360 Degree Video Cameras Show up at confab
By James DeRuvo (doddleNEWS)
Remember going to Disneyland and watching those movies in the 360 degree theater? From going up a river to driving down Lombard Street. You’d stand and watch as all the action literally happened around you. I always thought that would be the ultimate way to watch a movie. Can you imaging Star Wars: Episode VII being made that way? Course, it would be a challenge with the film crew in the way. But “the line” would be non existent! Anyway, this week at CES, 360 degree video cameras showed up, and some of them are down right cool.
1. The Geonaute 360. The GeoNaute is designed to work much like a GoPro action camera, only that it has 3 different 8MP cameras positioned to cover 130° of the 360 degree spectrum. Each camera films at a resolution of 2048 x 1024, and the three clips are then automatically stitched together for one master video clip. It can also shoot 4K still images. It also is controlled with a wristwatch mounted remote control. It can mount to anything the GoPro can. since it’s designed to use GoPro clips and mounts so that users don’t have to reinvest in more gear. Winner of CES 2014 Design and Engineering Award. Check out PlayGeonaute.com or on Twitter here.
“We believe that the 360Fly will change the way consumers view video forever making their footage more compelling, engaging, and immersive than ever before” said Tom Malone, President, VOXX Electronics Corp.
2. Next comes the Voxx 360Fly. And it’s compacted ball shaped design makes the Geonaute look huge by comparison. And Voxx says it offers true pan0ramic 360 degree recording. Co-developed with Eye360, the golf ball shaped 360Fly delivers simultaneous 360 video recording without stitching clips together, is waterproof up to 5 atmospheres, and fits in your pocket. And it records everything around you. It’s resolution isn’t as sharp as the Geonaute, but at 1500×1500 at 30fps, it’s close. And it connects back to your other devices via Wifi or Bluetooth. And you can view the footage directly from the 360Fly app. Likely, it’ll run about the same or a little more than the GoPro Hero 3+ Black edition.
And for $99, you can get a similar recording capability on your smartphone. The Voxx 360MicroFly sticks up out of a custom case mount which enables you to capture similar 360 footage. Works with iPhone and Android. You lose a bit of vertical view, only about 80 degrees, but it can still get a 360 degree pano. Both cameras will be available in the summer of 2014.
3. Polaroid is getting the action camera game with a trio of Action Sports Video Cameras. There’s the Polaroid XS100i, the Polaroid XS1000i, and the Polaroid C³. The XS100i is an upgrade of the previous model with WiFi and aopp control, with ultra wide 170° of coverage and records video in 1080p, 720p, and 960p. It offers a G-Sensor that auto rotates the image to get the best shot possible regardless of the camera’s position and is waterproof up to 30′. Cost is $179. Then there’s the XS1000i, which is a professional grade HD sports video camera. It utilizes the Aptina CMOS Sensor, the same ultra wide 170° lens and can capture stills and video simultaneously. Offers high impact technology in case you drop it as well. No word on price, but it’ll be available this summer. The final camera, the Polaroid C³ is a cube like action cam that shoots 120° wide angle video at 720p. Clearly an entry level model and frankly, I don’t see why they’d take a step backwards unless they’re planning on offering it at below $100. Available this summer.
4. As we mentioned the other day, Panasonic’s 4K Wearable HD camcorder shoots 4K video and stills and can share them via WiFi as it records to an external video recorder in your pocket. You wear it around your ear much like a pair of headphones and it can also be viewed live via it’s miniHDMI port.
5. Sony has yet another series of HandyCam camcorders at CES, seven of them in fact, which record HD at prices ranging from $230-1500. Nothing too earth shattering there, but their new FDR-AZ100 will a compact 4K offering for $2,000. And it should be a favorite with the prosumer wedding video category.
6. Steadicam Curve. Moving away from cameras, Tiffen is going after GoPro users with the new Steadicam Curve, which they introduced at NAB last Spring. the Curve offers hand held image stabilization and shake free video using a tiny Merlin-esque Steadicam that folds up small enough to fit in your jacket pocket. Weighing at a half pound, it works with the GoPro HERO, GoPro HERO 2, GoPro HERO 3, and GoPro HERO 3+ cameras. But for the sake of balance and framing, Tiffen also recommends adding the LCD BacPac or LCD Touch BacPac. Cost is $100 and is available now.
7. Last, but not least, we have the Parrot MiniDrone, a quadcopter that also double as a ground vehicle thanks to its detachable wheels. The AR Drone was one of those that blazed the trail with one of the first quadcopters that could mount a camera. But it was rather huge and some complained it was hard to fly. The AR MiniDrone has a similar, but smaller design but in addition to adding the ability to act as an R/C car platform, the ARMD can also climb walls and even the ceiling. That’s pretty crazy. You control it via Bluetooth 4.0 through the AR Drone app and you tilt your smartphone to bank and turn it, or with virtual joysticks in the App. And you can monitor it’s flight characteristics with sonar and cameras to make sure you don’t hit the ground. But with an 8-10 minute flight window, you have to get your footage pretty fast. No word on price, but since it’s only about 70 grams, you think it’ll be under $200. It will be available Down Under in the Fall.