Next-gen video technology lets you look around - inside a movie
By Loz Blain
January 11, 2010
Now that 3D is finally taking off again at the movie theatre - thanks in large part to James Cameron's evangelism in the leadup to his groundbreaking Avatar film, it's clear that immersive video technologies are big business again. And if the latest 3D stuff doesn't put you in the picture enough, how's this: Immersive Media has adapted the same 360-degree cameras used by Google's Street View cars to shoot video. That means you can actually look around as you watch the video... Which can feel absolutely bizarre, as in the case of the BASE jumping video after the jump. Extraordinary.
The technology seems understandable enough - a Street View-style 360-degree camera that's adapted to shoot video. The video is played through a custom flash player that stitches the footage together and allows you to use your mouse to look around as the video plays.
Naturally, this sort of thing would make a great fit for security camera installations, where the 360-degree video could eliminate black spots between camera viewpoints and allow easy tracking of all the action.
But the entertainment prospects for immersive media - and companies like... Immersive Media - are very exciting as well. Play this kind of video back through a pair of goggles with motion sensing accelerometers, and you've suddenly got a movie you can really look around in, turning your head to change your viewpoint. Imagine going 3D with it, using a couple of cameras; that's if you could stop them getting in the way of one another too much.
Very nifty stuff...