Though moving around panoramic photos can feel fairly natural, the ability to do so in a video still feels a little unusual. Perhaps it's because there's a sense that you're always missing part of the recording. Nonetheless, panoramic video is gradually moving into the mainstream, with EyeSee360 announcing two offerings that will join the market later this year.
The 360Fly is a sleek-looking, tennis-ball-sized video camera that can be hand-held, mounted on a sports helmet or just left on a table. Its field of view is 360 degrees horizontally and 240 degrees vertically, which EyeSee360 says makes it the widest viewing camera in the world. Video is captured at a resolution of 1500 x1500 px at 30 frames per second. The device is designed to be tough for sports users, is waterproof up to 5 meters (16 ft), and weighs 120 g (4.2 oz).
The entry level, 16 GB version of the 360Fly can record 2 hours of continuous 360° footage. Though the panoramic video captured takes up more storage space than ordinary video, it is still only recorded by one camera and so it is perhaps not as much of a memory hog as might be expected.
"The size of 360 videos shot with 360Fly is only slightly higher than a regular HD video," explains Amey Kanade, Product Manager at EyeSee360. "So far the size of the video has not been an issue for us."
In addition to the 360Fly, EyeSee360 is releasing the360MicroFly, a 360 degree panoramic video lens that can be attached to select smartphones. It pairs with iPhone and Android applications with which users can shoot, edit and share video.
Both devices provide users with a means of capturing panoramic video that they can interact with during playback. Videos can be uploaded to the 360Fly website, from where they can be embedded on any website. Users can pan and zoom within the videos captured in the same way that they can with panoramic photos.
The 360Fly is due for launch in July 2014 and is expected to retails from US$449.
The video below provides an introduction to the 360Fly.