Have a Ball! Throwable Multi-Lens Camera Sees Everything

Panorama photos might be a fun way to share your experiences and memories with other people, but they’re notoriously difficult to capture. Without a fair amount of photography know-how, a full spherical panorama is quite the challenge. That’s what inspired Jonas Pfeil to create the Throwable Panoramic Ball Camera, a fun digital camera that you can toss around to capture stunning, unparalleled panoramic photos.

The ball-shaped camera is loaded with 36 fixed-focus 2 megapixel cameras and an accelerometer. When the user throws the ball into the air, the accelerometer detects the highest point of its trajectory and snaps the photo instantly. Special spherical panorama software lets users view their captured photos in stunning 360-degree detail. And not to worry if you have butter fingers: the ball is made of soft foam that cushions the hardware from inadvertent drops.

The photos can be loaded onto a computer via USB, where users can pan around the stunning images to see every last detail of the scenes. Throwing a toy-like camera around sure does look like a lot more fun than wandering around tourist spots with a traditional camera held out in front of your face, snapping away and missing so much of the action around you.

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See more in Camera & Video or under Gadgets. November, 2011.