Digital Cameras

Crowdfunding launch for the Panono throwable panorama camera

Crowdfunding launch for the Pa...
Panono’s ball camera, armed with 36 tiny lenses, is capable of capturing a 72 megapixel panoramic scene from an elevated position
Panono’s ball camera, armed with 36 tiny lenses, is capable of capturing a 72 megapixel panoramic scene from an elevated position
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Panono’s ball camera, armed with 36 tiny lenses, is capable of capturing a 72 megapixel panoramic scene from an elevated position
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Panono’s ball camera, armed with 36 tiny lenses, is capable of capturing a 72 megapixel panoramic scene from an elevated position
360 degree images captured on the Panono can be viewed via a tablet or smartphone app
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360 degree images captured on the Panono can be viewed via a tablet or smartphone app
The Panono measures 4.33 in and weighs in at 0.66 lb, and has a body made of clear plastic which the designers claim can be dropped a few times without significant damage
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The Panono measures 4.33 in and weighs in at 0.66 lb, and has a body made of clear plastic which the designers claim can be dropped a few times without significant damage
The designers claim that the Panono can be used in low light conditions and is relatively water resistant, but not water tight
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The designers claim that the Panono can be used in low light conditions and is relatively water resistant, but not water tight
The Panono has an integrated accelerometer than fires 36 cameras at the instant the ball starts to descend from the throw
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The Panono has an integrated accelerometer than fires 36 cameras at the instant the ball starts to descend from the throw
As well as capturing images by throwing vertically, the Panono can also be mounted on a pole or held in the hand
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As well as capturing images by throwing vertically, the Panono can also be mounted on a pole or held in the hand
The developers are seeking $900,000 in crowdfunding to produce a $549 version of its throwable camera
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The developers are seeking $900,000 in crowdfunding to produce a $549 version of its throwable camera

Panoramic and 360 degree imaging capabilities have been available to photographers for years through DSLR manual mode captures and smartphone apps. The Panono offers something a little different. It's a throwable ball camera, armed with 36 tiny lenses, that's capable of capturing a 72 megapixel spherical scene from an elevated position. The developers are now pinning production hopes on a successful Indiegogo funding campaign.

Created by Jonas Pfeil and team, Panono’s multi-lensed ball looks more like a Jedi training ball or paintball grenade than a camera. Initially developed in 2011 as a large green prototype, the latest iteration is significantly smaller.

Specifications for the Panono show it to have a diameter of 4.33 in (around 11 cm), with a weight of 0.66 lb (300 g). The body of the ball is made of clear plastic, which the designers claim is water-resistant, and is tough enough to survive being dropped a few times.

Panono’s ball camera, armed with 36 tiny lenses, is capable of capturing a 72 megapixel panoramic scene from an elevated position. How the device captures the overhead image is what makes the Panono stand out from other throwable cameras, like the Squito for example. An integrated accelerometer is programmed to fire all 36 fixed focus cameras at the apex of the throw, or when the ball starts to decelerate, providing a 360 degree view from on high. Spherical images can then be viewed in an app running on a tablet or smartphone by moving the device around.

The designers are quick to point out that the ball needs to be remain relatively flat in its throwing arc, too much rotation and the cameras won’t fire. In such cases, the Panono can just be launched skyward again.

The Panono can also be used as a hand-held device by pressing a button or by mounting it on a pole. The developers claim that low light shots are possible when the ball is pole-mounted or stabilized in the hand-held position.

Panono is currently seeking US$900,000 in crowdfunding to produce a $549 version of its throwable camera. The Indiegogo campaign closes on January 4 2014.

Sources: Panono, Indiegogo

Panono: Panoramic Ball Camera

1 comment
Satweavers
Back when I was an art student, I did things with Super 8 cameras, like make crash boxes for them and toss them off buildings and such. What I ended up with was footage of insane, sweeping, blurred chaos that was unreadable as anything at all. Perhaps if this camera had a really high frame rate or something, you would capture something interesting to watch.