Friday, July 24, 2009

360° Video with Custom Built Players - Imatronics Interactive Video

•Transform your video files into compelling multimedia presentations
•Control what you view and how you view it - in full motion, vivid color and rich sound
•Navigate your video with full pan, tilt and zoom controls
•Use any video files you have. Use any standard or panoramic video camera you have. Use any spherical video system you have
•Add captivating motion effects to your interactive video virtual tours
•Create your entire interactive video virtual tour in just one step -- simply open your video file and all the rest is automatically taken care of for you
•Save tons of time and money. Focus on the creative aspects of your work
•Select from a very wide variety of spectacular transtion effects and/or create your very own transition effects
•Play your interactive video presentations anywhere on the Internet. Reach the widest possible audience
•Burn your packages to CD/DVD-ROM. The "autorun" feature permits you to instantly immerse yourself in the exciting new world of interactive video as soon as you insert your interactive video package into your computer
•Share your creations by e-mail, web, CD/DVD-ROM, self-contained multimedia presentations or export them for stylish viewing in the stand-alone OmniViewer
•Create and distribute as many packages as you like. NO KEYS. NO ROYALTIES
•Leverage the power of automated and user-activated multimedia popup windows with movies, pictures, text, 3D visualizations and animations to create the most engaging multimedia experiences
•Save time and money by using visual high-speed batch processing to design compelling multimedia experiences
•Package your interactive video tours in attractive, fully customizable cute skins with dynamic resizing capability
•Use the integrated professional Cute Skin Editor to create, edit and manage your cute skins
•Interactive Video is great value. Enjoy these and many other great features

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Finally, a 360° Video with a STORYLINE

GlobalVision Communication, a Swiss company, has produced a 360° Video using a LadyBug 2 camera from Point Grey Research that follows a REGA (Swiss Aerial Rescue Guard) helicopter team through the operation of a helicopter rescue from scramble to primary care delivery. Although there are some obvious issues, it is an extraordinary experience for the viewer from start to finish.

You can join the crew onboard the helicopter here.

So here's the good, the bad, and the ugly.
The Good: 1. There is a sequence of events in a logical order, it's not much to ask for, but it is the first time I've seen a 360° Video online that makes the attempt. 2. The "story" is told from a number of positions. First you're in the pilot's seat, then you're on the back of the rescuer being lowered to the victim, and then you're on the victim and seeing the rescue from that perspective. The transitions are orderly and make sense in relation to the story. With the camera they are using, these changes aren't easy to make, but the producer pulls it off here.
The Bad: 1. Load time - There's no counter on the player, but this is one of the longest 360° Videos on the internet to date. So it takes a long time to load - totally understandable, but worth noting. 2. Poor Quality video - again understandable considering sensors, format, and bandwidth considerations, but worth noting. 3. Stitching issues - Viewers will notice areas throughout were things just don't line up all the time. I'm not saying it distracts from the experience much, but it's there. All 360° Video cameras suffer from an issue called parallax that is especially noticable when objects are in close proxity to the camera.
The Ugly: The player and player window. Great to have a fullscreen option and when in fullscreen the controls aren't quite as annoying, but I'm not a fan of having player controls on top of content. The seperate window in which this video opens doesn't even have a url that I can point to for this blog. There is no embed code or any other means of sharing. No need to hide this stuff guys.

My review: Considering this is the first story told (online) in 360° video, I give it my highest rating.

My Suggestions: Less Music and more narration, maybe even someone speaking to the viewer. Tell us what is going on, what to look at, etc. Guide us through the experience.

Friday, July 17, 2009


There have been a lot of concerts shot in 360° Video and it's always pretty cool, but MATIvision (Multi Angle Totally Interactive Vision) has ROCKED me with their GUI and it's seamless integration of multiple LadyBug 2 cameras. 2009 is turning out be the year of MATI (formerly known as as they have been out shooting concerts and festivals across Europe. Their 360 Video pages must already surpass even Immersive Media's demos in terms of sheer quantity of content online. With four camera streams associated with each song from each band in the line up, the shear quantity is astounding.

If you are a fan of live music, do yourself a favor and check this out now!

Say you spot a "person of interest" in the front row or on stage. In 360° Video, you have the power to aim your POV directly at that person and zoom in for a better look. It's likely though that the person you are interested in seeing closer is too far away from the camera for a good view. In MATIvision's setup, you can simply switch views to another camera closer to the person of interest, or maybe even a better angle.

MATIvision is an amazing example of what a focused effort in any one of the thousands of applications of 360° Video can become. Congratulations, MATIvision, and thank you for giving us the best seats in the house.

U2 360? Are you listening?

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Dr. Robert Ballard sees a 360° future

On NPR's "Science Friday" yesterday, Dr. Robert Ballard, discoverer of the Titanic and Explorer-in-Residence at National Geographic, discussed his upcoming expeditions, his efforts to wire the scientific community to exploration in real time, and his vision of the future with Ira Flatow.

Here's the NPR link

As I was driving through Oregon's Coastal Range and losing reception, it was nice to hear one of my personal heros mention his vision for "electronic travel". It's a future in which a family would come together in a spherical entertainment room and rent a virtual experience from some far flung travel destination. Bravo, Dr. Ballard. That future is on the horizon, and it starts with 360° Video, captured with multi-directional cameras, distributed over the web, and currently displayed on our personal computers, but I can't wait for that high-definition, spherical entertainment room.

Until then, the best we have is Immersive Media's collection of short 360° demonstration videos at

Enjoy the journey and have a great Fourth of July!