• Sphericam

    Sphericam was one of the first 360º camera startups. Here are some photos and videos that tell some of the story....

     

    ...This is by no means the whole story. For that, you'll have to wait for the book :-)

  • sphericam, the early years

    I started building 360º video cameras in some form since around 2008.

    Early research in omnidirectional camera hardware development

    I was building 360º video cameras in some form since around 2008. In the beginning I chose the simplest, cheapest, most accessible off-the-shelf components I could find, which happened to be analog CCTV board cameras and various types of DVR capture cards. This yielded surprisingly decent quality at the time; additionally the relatively large pixel size, as well as the very mature and highly evolved analog CMOS sensor, allowed extremely high sensitivity in darkness.

     

     

    Sphericam 0.5

    Here we have 4 VGA-resolution analog CMOS board cameras, each with a fisheye lens; these board cameras are mounted to a custom CNC-machined aluminum core, mounted inside a common fuse box. The cameras are connected to a 4-channel security DVR card (PCI-express) which is connected to a regular x86 windows PC.

     

    Of course, when the opportunity presents itself, a good old ammo box should be used to mount the PC inside. The ammo box and camera head are mounted to a standard US army "molle" backpack frame. Fun fact: this is the same backpack frame used by the original Ghostbusters.

    Sphericam 1

    Hacking around with analog video components eventually evolved into the device that became Sphericam 1, which was launched on Kickstarter in 2012. This Kickstarter campaign earned around $35,000 USD, from around 50 backers, who eventually received their working Sphericam 1 cameras a few months later (we were late in shipping them, but we did ship them all).

  • Interviews

    Between 2015 and 2017, we trekked to Las Vegas, New York City, Amsterdam, London, Toyko, and other places, pitching the magic of VR, and the magic of Sphericam as the missing link for professional content creation in this burgeoning new medium. At the time, there were many intricate and well-funded market analyses proclaiming that the VR industry was going to grow even faster than the iPhone. We used these hockey stick graphs to their fullest extent, of course. The reality did not shake out that way, for various reasons. As of 2019, VR is still growing, but a lot slower than what people thought a couple of years ago.

    Google Streetview Summit, Tokyo, May 2017

    Google London VR Symposium 2016

    Jeffrey Martin at IVRPA Vienna 2017

    Sphericam Be Terrific interview at NAB 2016

    Sphericam Beast at CES Unveiled NYC, 2016

    MacVoices at ShowStoppers (CES) 2016

    NAB 2016 (B&H) Interview

    NAB 2016 (Broadcast Beat) Interview

    NAB 2016 (DV Asia) Interview

    NAB 2016 (NewsShooter) Interview

    Sphericam at World VR Fest 2016 (Switzerland)

    The 5 best 360º Cameras of 2015

    Spoiler: none of these companies are around anymore ;-)

    Lee Jeans interviews Jeffrey Martin

    (I still don't know why)

    This is a bizarre combination of interview and jeans commercial. I don't know how or why this happened, but it did. So I'll just leave it here. Because if you can't publish your own embarrassing interviews on your own website, what kind of a human are you, really?

    Sphericam at IBC 2015

    NAB 2016: Voice of America Interview with Lori Swartz

  • Videos about, and sample videos from, sphericam 2

    See more about the product and the team

    Sphericam 2 Assembly

    The always-sensible Rob van Schelven assembled many Sphericam 2 cameras. Here we find him deep in the process of assembling a number of cameras.

    Mixed Reality

    At NAB 2017 we partnered with Duy Tran from NanSense, and showed a combination of live-stitched, streaming spherical video, with a realtime-rendered 3d human, via NanSense's Motion-Capture (mocap) full body suit, inserted into the spherical video. Bleeding edge stuff at the time.

    Sphericam Beast - sample

    Sphericam Beast was the world's first 4x 4K60, 10 bit RAW professional 360 camera. Yes, it was a beast.

    Sphericam Beast - video sample 2

    Beast Capitola

    Sphericam video stitcher - demo

    Sphericam 2 sample - keyhole sunset

    Sphericam software stabilization - sample 1

    Sphericam 2 video sample - Dvorak Symphony

    Sphericam software stabilization - sample 2

    Sphericam software stabilization - sample 3

    Sphericam 2 video sample - Shanghai

    Sphericam 2 - bike ride 1

    Sphericam 2 - bike ride 2

    Sphericam protorig video sample 1

    Sphericam protorig video sample 2

    CNC Machining a Snub Cube Octahedron

    Pick and Place machine populating a Sphericam 2 PCB

    In a parallel universe, this PCB is flawless, and we don't spend another 12 months debugging something that could have been designed better at the beginning. Alas! For this another juicy bits, you'll just have to wait for the book.

  • Contact me

    I read all my messages. In most cases, I'll reply in under 24 hours.

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