December 1, 2010

A 360 degree Wide Angle Camera with 3D

A camera with a typical wide-angle lens will produce a field of view of 50 – 75 degree. How about a 360 degree wide-angle camera with 3D.

A wide field of view captures the scene more naturally. Similar to the natural view with a human eye, you can see more of the scene with a wide-angle lens. But, human eyes are still limited. A fly’s eye can see the scene almost in 360 degree. Inspired by the fly’s eye, researchers at EPFL have constructed a 360 degree camera that also captures the 3D coordinates of the scene and can display the 360 degree 3D view in real-time.

A Fly’s Eye

EPFL 360 degree camera

EPFL hemispherical camera

The camera includes many image sensors mounted on a spherical surface. The camera software forms the 360 degree 3D view from the sensors in real-time.

When ready, 360 degree 3D cameras will get used in devices such as iPhone and iPad, for sensing the environment as in video games (Kinect sensor) and automated cars and in real-time video security.