Monday, 16 March 2009

Drake! Check your camera! There seems to be a malfunction..

Sure, video in one direction is fine. But why not use a $45,000 storm trooper sphere camera to record in all directions, and create videos where the viewer can decide the direction of their gaze? Ok this tech has been lurking for some time, it is of course what you can play with for hours on Google street view, but I never saw it in video form before. Google street view is a series of still images stitched together which is impressive enough, but actual video? Cool! This is from the Immersive Media website where lots of other 360 vids await your amazement. What practical applications can we expect from this? Considering it demands total interaction (considered a pro, or selling point if you will) it's not likely to revolutionise our modern day entertainment media, which we like to keep interactive in a more immediate, sharey kind of way. For web documentaries and the like though this is amazing stuff. Hard to direct a viewer in the way you would a movie but as far as documenting scenes this is unbeatable. Now you can be a virtual tourist, travelling along any street or landscape, and appreciate everything just as you would if you were there. Or how about a wedding video in full 360 degrees? Want to film the audience and the choir and the backs of the happy couple all at once? I should think so! Although the kit is probably slightly out of reach for your average wedding videographer.

If you were to combine this kind of footage with the stuff Johnny Lee was up to with the Wii, what would happen? Would you be able to move the view around just by moving your head? And then you'd have to add in actual 3D footage. And a big spherical room to project the whole scene in! Yes, the future will bring in addition to it's ample gifts, the wonder of cricked necks from all the craning and turning the once simple and relaxing act of watching a video now entails. Still, although what the boffins will make of this amazing tech in unclear, what we can be sure of is that this is what the marines in Aliens would have had strapped to their heads, so Cameron should reflect on whether he should have had just a little more foresight into the future of camera technology.


nanobri said...

Wow, I had never seen that in a video before either. Pretty cool!

I wonder if anyone has yet thought of using such stuff on video devices with tilt control like the iPhone. It would be neat to be able to tilt it around to move the camera gaze. Actually, that'd kind of be cool even for stills. This has probably already been implemented and I just don't know it yet. Most cool ideas I think of are. Either that or they end up being patently impossible. :-p

lancevr said...

360-degree spherical video has been around for several years, just that not many are aware it exists. I have produced many of these while adding other peripheral sensations such as 3D sound, wind effects, scents of smell and vibration for applications in the advertising/promotional, training, medical and other fields.

I produced the VBSS (special op's. Vessel Board Search and Seizure on the boat) and the military convoy clips in a simulated Iraqi village you are showing here using IMC's camera and permission to display them.

I'm now working on some other very dynamic app's. using spherical video, including adding branching and more interactivity. And yes, it will soon be coming to the iPhone.
Spread the word......

Munial said...

Amazing! Thanks for stopping in, sounds very exciting! If you fancy sharing more, drop us an email and we'll look at this in more detail, I think its fascinating tech..
And don't worry nanobri, even if you're idea is already being made (again)you're bound to hit one that's not eventually!

Anonymous said...

now you can check out immersive high quality productions online: