360-Degree Camera Delivers Live Panoramic Video
Elie Ahovi, Jérémie Levain, François Mahieu, Marc Tran, Valentin Delrue, and Nicolas Lenotte Digital Renders : Elie Ahovi & Marc Tran
We love the future and all it has to offer, but we nod to the past for leading us here. This week in Tasty Tech, we look forward and back. Back in the 1900s, airships and zeppelins were all the rage. But then the airplane came along and the dream when up in flames. But it didn't die. Like a Phoenix rising up from the ashes, comes Cloudea, a concept from industrial designers Elie Ahovi, Jérémie Levain, François Mahieu, Marc Tran, Valentin Delrue, and Nicolas Lenotte. Unlike other airships, this one blends in with the sky. We like the idea.
Since 1950, car lovers and aficionados from around the world have come to Pebble Beach's Concours d'Elegance to drool over some of the world's rarest and most collectible cars. This 1958 Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa Scaglietti Spyder drove the crowd wild.
Louise Hughes/Science Photo Library
An online game called EyeWire harnesses the power of gamers to do good. Developed at MIT, the game had some 135,000 players navigating a single nerve path in a mouse's retina. The information gleaned was then used to reconstruct the neural wiring in 3-D images. Done with the eye, gamers have now moved on to the olfactory cortex to discover how the brain deals with smells.
Where is a chair when you need one? Oh, it's right there, strapped to my butt. The Chairless Chair, developed by Swiss startup Noonee, is an exoskeleton that attaches to your legs. When you sit back, it's like the chair has been under you all along.
The MULE, from designer Anton Brousseau, is a workhorse for city living. This concept electric vehicle features a fully electric rechargeable battery with a range of 80 miles. It has a unique saddle system for carrying cargo and a tilting recumbent seat that puts the rider in touch with the vehicle and the road.
No, it's not Google Glass. These are Recon Jet, a bad-ass name for a pair of electronic sunglasses that could let police capture photos of their surroundings. Wearable tech company, Recon, is partnering with Motorola to create the new surveillance gadget for what they call, "smarter policing."
Nike's House of Mamba is the world’s first touch-sensitive LCD basketball court. It was unveiled in Shanghai, China, this summer and is named after Kobe Bryant, whose nickname is Black Mamba. The court has motion-tracking sensors, artificial intelligence and reactive LED lights that display a range of different graphics. The visualizations are crazy-exciting and even though developers say the court will mostly be used for training purposes, you just know they gotta use it for the crowd, too. How could they not? See a videohere
G.L. Kohuth/Michigan State University
Most solar panels are black, but this one developed by researchers at Michigan State University is crystal clear. Just imagine if your windows also generated solar power or if the screen on your phone harvested sunlight to power it? That's the future.
Yerka Project via Youtube
The three engineering students from Chile came up with Yerka, a bike that uses its frame as the lock. Break the lock, break the bike. That's not worth stealing, now is it?
Land Art Generator Initiative
This lovely concept from artist Felix Cheong puts billowing, wind-harvesting flags on a floating platform that harvests tidal power from the waves. It's called Oscillating Platforms and it's one of many innovative submissions to the annual Land Art Generator Initiative, which brings together the worlds of installation art and renewable energy infrastructure. Winners of this initiative will be announced in October.
Point-and-shoot digital cameras have certainly come a long way in recent years, but there’s always been a basic limitation: You have to point them.
Or maybe not. The spherical, baseball-sized Bublcam is designed to take 360-degree panoramic photos and videos, much like the Street View function on Google maps. Attach it to a tripod, mount it on your bike (or your drone), or just hold it up at a concert and the Bublcam captures imagery in all directions.
The Bublecam stitches images together dynamically and stores them on a Micro SD card. Or you can stream video to your PC or mobile device using the internal Wi-Fi unit. On playback, viewers can then move around the resulting photos and images onscreen, in real time — pan and zoom around with the mouse, or with a swipe on a touchscreen.
The Bublcam records video at 30 fps at 720p resolution, or 15 fps at high-def 1080p, and exports to MP4 format. Photos output as 14 megapixel “multiplexed” images after stitching. The camera also includes a built-in accelerometer to stabilize images.
The Bublecam isn’t the only panoramic consumer camera in development, but appears to be among the first that’s ready for prime time. It’s also remarkably cool looking — like a baseball circa 2097. The initial model is expected to become available sometime this fall, with a $579 price tag. The company hopes to lower the price point to below $500 by next year, and add 3-D capabilities, including integration with the hugely anticipated Oculus Rift virtual reality headset.
Photo: Bubl Technology