The video: Typically, it's a bad idea to throw electronics equipment, but a German student has created an "amazing" camera that's meant to be tossed into the air. While studying at the Technical University of Berlin, Jonas Pfeil realized there was no simple way to take a 360-degree panoramic photo. So, he tried putting cameras on a rubber ball you toss in the air (see a video below). The Throwable Panoramic Ball Camera features 36 fixed-focus cellphone camera modules enclosed in a durable ball casing, about the size of a basketball. The cameras simultaneously fire when the ball reaches its highest point. The shots can then downloaded via USB and viewed as a spherical panorama using special software. Pfeil and his team have a patent pending, and are looking for investors to help bring the camera to market.
The reaction: "Just when you think photographic technology has more or less reached its endpoint, at least from a conceptual standpoint, people go out and dream up a device like this," says David Zax at Technology Review. It's "remarkable." Yeah, this could "elevate the art of sports photography to another level," says Adario Strange at Dvice. Not just sports, I see a number of different uses for it, says John Wallace at Laser Focus World. A tourist could take a panorama of the Grand Canyon, a CIA agent could get "that essential bit of info from outside a second-story window," or a "tweener" could snap "all her partying BFFs at once, even the ones sneaking vodka." Check it out: