GoPano micro captures 360-degree video on iPhone
By Ben Coxworth
May 2, 2011
If you've seen the rock video for Professor Green's Coming to Get Me, then you'll know just how fascinating 360-degree interactive video can be. Viewers are able to continuously change their point of view, looking in front of, behind, beside or even above the camera at any point in the action – it's never the same video twice, if you don't want it to be. While such technology could mean big things for feature film production, it's also set to shake up your home videos ... starting with the GoPano micro 360-degree video system for iPhone.
The micro was designed by engineers at Pittsburgh tech start-up EyeSee360. The company, which is made up of alumni from Carnegie Mellon University, has previously developed the GoPano Plus, a 360-degree lens for use on digital SLRs. While the Plus is priced at US$699, however, the micro is expected to sell for about $80.
The current prototype attaches to the lens of an iPhone 4, via a custom case. Users then simply record a video, simultaneously catching everything visible within a 360-degree horizontal loop around the lens (they can select what point of view appears on the phone's screen as they're shooting, but that doesn't affect what's recorded). When they're done, proprietary software allows viewers of the footage to navigate within the panorama using the phone's touchscreen, panning left or right whenever they see fit. The company is also developing a web platform, where users can share their videos.
Although the GoPano micro is not yet available for general purchase, people interested in helping to fund its development can get one for a pledge of US$50 or more.
An example of a video shot with the technology can be seen – and manipulated with your mouse – below.