Spherical cameras have been built before; there is even a military model called the Eyeball R1, built by Israeli company ODF Optronics. But it costs $5,000. Bounce Imaging hopes to sell their device for a fraction of that.
Cost is an important consideration because there might be some situations where the camera has to be left behind or is thrown somewhere that it gets damaged. Currently there isn't any way for the ball to roll back to the thrower.
ANALYSIS: Throwable Robots to Join Battle
While it might sound like a useful technology, this kind of sensor has encountered
skepticism before. The Eyeball, for example, might roll behind a couch or other object and not be able to "see." And if a soldier or police officer is going to throw something into a room then it might be a better idea to use a flash-bang grenade. It's likely first responders would be using it before the police or military.
Meanwhile the device isn't in production yet. The founders, former students at MIT's Sloan School of Management, won $50,000 in seed money from MassChallenge, a local startup incubator, as well as $10,000 from VenCorp's NYC Impact Challenge.
Credit: Bounce Imaging