You can throw this camera ball for fly-by panoramas
Panoramas always seem to be the same kind of wide horizontal pan of gorgeous landscapes. Steve Hollinger, a Boston-based inventor and president of software maker S.H. Pierce and Co., wants to change all that with a new type of throwable camera called the Squito that takes a different kind of fly-by panorama.
Unlike your typical handheld camera, you throw this camera in the air to take photos. Using a combination of high-speed cameras and position sensors, the Squito can stitch together a panoramic scene while it’s spiraling in the air.
According to SlashGear, Hollinger just won a US patent for the project and is currently working on a first-generation prototype. The Squito currently looks like a tennis ball, albeit one equipped with cameras (three of them, to be exact), gyroscopes, accelerometers, a GPS sensor, microcontrollers, and an image processor with an onboard data storage unit.
The latest prototype has a new feature that allows it to take a spherical panoramic image at the apex of its trajectory. The concept is not unlike the grapefruit-sized ball with 36 cameras that we saw previously.
Aside from taking panoramas, this camera will be able to dial into a subject that it'll continuously focus on even after you throw it. For example, Hollinger says that he could use the camera to focus on a batter in a baseball game to create a smooth point-of-view video once the pitcher throws the Squito. The camera can maintain its focus on a subject all on its own because it's able to calculate its position and trajectory relative to its subject.
Hollinger envisions a number of consumer and industrial uses for the Squito, including outdoor photography, sports photography, reconnaissance, and search-and-rescue missions.