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This Camera Ball Creates a Panoramic Image When You Throw It in the Air

It's unclear whether a $600 ball camera can be competitive in a market where most smart phones now have a "panoramic" function. But it is still pretty nifty

Image: Panono

The camera phone has put image making technology in the palm of most people’s hands, and while Instagram might not be creating the most beautiful photographs, taking them has become easier and easier. Now, add panoramas to the list of photographic tricks technology is democratizing: just throw a ball in the air and, bam, you’ve got a panorama.

The Panono—a little ball full of cameras—isn’t a commercial reality just yet. The team that dreamed the idea up has launched an Indiegogo campaign to raise money to bring it to life. But the prototype shows what it can do. Using 36 lenses, the ball takes 36 pictures at the peak of its trajectory. Then, using built in software, it pieces those pictures together into a 360-degree image.

You can pre-order a Panono on the Indiegogo site, but they’re hoping to get them on the market in about a year, reports Daniel Terdiman at CNET:

When the Panono goes on sale, likely next September, it will cost $600, Pfeil said. But those who support it through Indiegogo will pay $550. In the coming months, the company will be working hard to produce the cameras, making sure that it is able to make enough of them to meet demand, and that each is made with the durable polycarbonate material that allows users to throw them up to about 9 feet in the air with confidence that they can survive hitting the ground.

You can see a demonstration of the camera here:

It’s unclear whether a $600 ball camera can be competitive in a market where most smart phones now have a “panoramic” function. But it is still pretty nifty.

More from Smithsonian.com:

Check Out This Beautiful Gigapixel Panorama of Mars
Curiosity’s Latest: This Gigantic 3D Panorama of Mars

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About Rose Eveleth
Rose Eveleth

Rose Eveleth is a writer for Smart News and a producer/designer/ science writer/ animator based in Brooklyn. Her work has appeared in the New York Times, Scientific American, Story Collider, TED-Ed and OnEarth.

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