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OPLIN 4cast #345: Seeing it all

Posted in 4cast

smartphone lensShooting video with your smartphone is about to take on a whole new dimension with the advent of 360-degree lenses you can attach to your phone. This video technology is already making an impact on police and security procedures, and may soon be the next disruptive technology in the news industry. Currently, you can get a 360-degree attachment for an iPhone for as little as $60, which could make this technology ubiquitous in the very near future. We admit we don’t really know what this means to libraries – maybe a cool way to record a story hour? – but it’s interesting nonetheless.

  • Can 360-degree video have all angles covered? (BBC News) “Recently, video apps and specialised camera lenses have added to the immersive look and now TV and film companies are starting to take the tech more seriously. Lindsey Suter, of the BBC Blue Room – the broadcaster’s consumer technology lab – said: ‘You could be telling three different stories within one bit of footage, which personally I find really exciting. I think that’s the amazing thing about 360 is the narrative, the story and the journey that you go on.’”
  • Array of high-tech gadgets and strategies takes police work in vastly different direction (Milpitas Post editorial) “Something similar is the current acquisition by police departments in the Bay Area of mobile automated license plate readers for officers to use while on patrol. These are capable of scanning and recording the plates of hundreds of cars within a 360-degree arc. Stored indefinitely these could have great potential to capture the whereabouts of stolen cars as well as much else.”
  • Enhancing Security With 360-degree Video Surveillance (SourceSecurity/Richard Pineau) “De-warping on the client side allows for retrospective viewing, which enables the user to go back in time to view the total scene in its original form and then pan, tilt, and/or zoom within the 360-degree image as desired. Leading solution provider’s approach de-warping using the GPU/OpenGL which significantly reduces the impact on the processing required by the CPU, and gives a seamless user experience with zero latency.”
  • Programming in 360-degree panoramic HD video (ComputerWeekly/Adrian Bridgwater) “Polycom used its turn at the Microsoft worldwide partner conference in Houston this July to unveil the first 360-degree panoramic 1080p HD video collaboration solutions custom-built for Microsoft Lync 2013. The new Polycom CX5500 and CX5100 Unified Conference Stations are designed to deliver a ‘groundbreaking around-the-table experience’ for all participants, whether they’re in the room or thousands of miles away.”

Sample fact:
If you’re curious about what it’s like to watch a 360-degree video, there are examples at and