The Camera Bag: Squito throwable camera can capture 360-degree, airborne imagery
posted Tuesday, July 9, 2013 at 12:55 PM EDT
The Squito might just look like a hard plastic ball, but with a combination of a handful of lenses and some pretty impressive processing, it can do an awful lot more.
The Squito, and its companion device the Darkball, are being developed and patented by inventor Steve Hollinger who has figured out a way to counteract the biggest problem with a thrown camera: having it spin out of control and produce wobbly, dizzying imagery. In a new demo video, he shows how the powerful technology he's developing takes the imaging information from an array of cameras covering the surface of the Squito, and corrects and stitches them together into a single, stable video feed.
Hollinger, who is based in Boston, demonstrates using his device to create amazing panoramas and to track subjects while still in flight. He's also working on the Darkball, which will work in dimly lit conditions, transmitting near IR and thermal data to see through the dark, smoke, and fog.
Unfortunately, since this is just a demo video, a lot about the techniques used here is unclear. Are the video streams being corrected inside the camera, and then streamed back? Or is all the processing happening server side (as the Squito is meant to be cloud connected)? Regardless, the possibilities for a camera like this are self-evident, be it just for fun, or for use in rescue and emergency situations.
The Squito isn't the only device like this being developed. Another company in Boston called Bounce Imaging is working on similar tech for use by soldiers and first responders to send into hazardous situations.