Chances are high you've used the panorama feature on your phone's camera more than once. But have you also been dissatisfied by the image quality? Have you struggled to keep your hand steady enough to get a continuous image? If you answered "yes" to either of these questions, you might love the current Indiegogo campaign for Panono. This throwable sphere allows you to take 72 megapixel panoramas without the hassle of traditional camera features. We wanted to take some time to highlight a little bit of the history and what makes Panono so immersive (and fun)!
Where did Panono come from?
As the fundraiser states, "Jonas Pfeil, Panono creator, president and co-founder, was working on his master’s degree in computer engineering at the Technical University of Berlin when it struck him (while on adventure in Tonga) that taking panoramic pictures should be easier than taking multiple single shots and later stitching them together on a PC."
Back in 2011, Pfeil pitched the idea to a computer graphics conference in Asia. After generating a lot of interest and securing international patents, he founded the company in October 2012. In the year since the company was founded, he began to develop workable prototypes along with co-founders Björn Bollensdorff and Qian Qin.
The current fundraiser will allow them to engineer the exterior covering to be as a tough as possible, develop software algorithms that make the camera most effective, and purchase parts in large enough quantities so they will be affordable for a wider array of consumers to purchase. In short, they're trying to raise money, like many other exciting technology-based projects, to turn a prototype into a marketable reality.
What does Panono do that is unique?
Beyond the 72 megapixel camera (which is significantly higher resolution all point and shoot cameras you can take panoramas with), Panono's photo taking process is what sets it apart. What do we mean by this?
As the comic to the left shows, the Panono turns photography into an immersive experience. All you need to do is the throw the camera into the air, typically in bright sunlight to ensure the image doesn't get blurry. The camera's software will automatically calculate where the highest point of flight is. At this highest point, the multiple camera sensors will take a photograph and automatically assemble the multiple images together for you.
Given our reliance on wireless technology and cloud computing, the camera will then automatically synch the photographs to the Panono app. This will allow you to preview the image in a lower quality resolution before it is sent off to a remote cloud storage space to be stored in the highest resolution file. You will then be able to view this image on a website, on the app, or share it through your favorite social media channels.
You can even export the files so you can print out part or all of your favorite panoramas. Just looking at one of the sample images gets us really excited about all of the printing possibilities! We also think the reliance on wireless tech capabilities will play into the strengths of the newly emerging printing ventures.
Panono is what WIRED's Charlie Sorrel called, "somewhat akin to Google Street View, only more spectacular." And we can't help but agree. With the ability to capture highly localized and seasonally specific high resolution panoramas of all environments, we will have increasingly advanced abilities to document and interact with the world around us.
Let us know what you think about Panono in the comments section below. Or feel free to share one panoramic image you'd really love to capture.