3d printed panoramic ball camera


Simple solutions to hard problems always fascinate me, elegance rules. Panoramic camera’s have been around for a while but the quality has been a little lacking and honestly it never was 360 degrees, the top and bottom were often missing.That is why Jonas Pfeil solution is so interesting. Now the title of Jonas Pfeil final university thesis  is ‘Throw able Camera Array for Capturing Spherical Panoramas’, ‘throw able camera’ seems like a strange string of words,  like ‘ throw able glass’  or ‘dispensable babies’ , but anyway out of this, the panoramic ball camera was born.

The ball consists of 36 camera of 2 megapixel mobile phone camera’s, they are fixed by a 3D printed skeleton, which is so intrinsically made that it seems to be the best manufacturing method for the job. see here for further information.

The throw ball is an elegant solutions for 3 reasons  1) the pictures are taken at the high point of the throw where it is the most still, now by taking the picture at that moment the ghosting or blurring of people/cars/animals that occurs due to movement, is radically reduced 2)  the ball is not mounted on a ‘tripod’ or other device, that means that this camera can make pictures of the ground as well as the sky, making its pictures true 360 degree panoramic.3) you throw a ball into the air…it really doesn’t get much simpler than that.

This isn’t a tool that you use to get pristine pictures of undisturbed landscapes or for the interior of houses that are up for sale, more for city trips or outdoors activities, since you’ll always see the person who threw the ball. But all in all its an elegant  and fun solution for a complex problem.

You cannot buy this product yet, Jonas Pfeil has patent(s) on the camera so chances are that it will be available in the near future.