Video panoramas are the next logical step in visual media synthesis, merging still panos with “flatview” videos. The capture system developed by Netherlands-based technologists yellowBird is the video equivalent of the camera used to create shots in Google Earth and Google Maps. YellowBird’s camera has 6 lenses and can be mounted on a walking frame (see image at right) or a vehicle using fibre-optic cables to deliver a data stream of 1200 Mbit per second. The integrated surround-sound mike system can record hi-fi audio at 96 khz.
Here’s a pano video shot in Avenue Martin Luther King, Port-au-Prince, Haiti using Immersive Media‘s 11-lens Dodeca 2360 system (the screenshot is to the left). Try panning around the full 360 degrees or up and down as the video plays. This added control of the video playback really gives you a sense of being in the scene.
Pausing and panning around lets you pick up details you’d miss in a straight video, so this is really extra information under the user’s direct control. The subject matter is confronting – endless streets of buildings reduced to rubble – but also heartening as you follow individuals walking through the scene. You get a sense that Haitians are really trying to get on with the business of survival and reconstruction of their shattered world.
Immersive Media’s camera has also been used for strictly commercial purposes. Have a look at this ad for Armani Jeans with teenagers running through alleyways and managing to sell expensive jeans along the way. Key points in the video let you zoom in or access the Man/Woman catalogue. The immersiveness of the technology gives you the feeling of being part of the gang. This could be the ultimate “lifestyle” commercial – where you don’t just get a glimpse of how carefree, stylish young people live (think Coca-Cola), you virtually experience it.
Swiss company Globalvision has integrated video panos with Google Maps, giving you a 360 degree video tour of main streets in Geneva. The interface includes controls for panning, tilting and zooming as the video plays. See the first Related article below for more detail.
(images: camera – yellowBird, Haiti – mashable.com)
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