Thursday, April 29, 2010

Texas Stadium Implosion - BigLook360

The death of an iconic stadium and an Immersive Media Dodeca 2360 Spherical Video Camera.

From Dallas, TX, where both BigLook360 and Immersive Media have offices, comes a video that is grabbing the attention of sports fans, concert goers, tech geeks, and fans of destruction alike. Sometimes you just have to say, "Let's go for it!" to make something that will appeal to a broad audience. In this case, one very special camera had to be sacrificed so that we could get a view from inside the destruction of Texas Stadium. RIP Texas Stadium and Dodeca 2360 Camera number ???

Chances are, that camera was one of the cameras I had on the VW Beetle I drove across the continent for the Google Street View project. Only one camera was lost during that project when the team drove into the parking garage at their hotel while having an argument and forgot to take the camera down first. The footage survived that incident, too, and we all had a good laugh at their expense.

BigLook360 has worked with Immersive Media before on a project for the State of Texas Department of Tourism, called Texas On Tour, that I wrote about in this blog here and here. That project remains one of the best examples of what I believe is this new medium's greatest application - virtual tourism. SlopeView's has taken the virtual tourism concept one step further by referencing the 360° video to custom map with OnSnow@Whistler.

Having grown up in Dallas, watching Texas Stadium go down came with a mixed bag of emotions. I was there when the Cowboys of the 90's launched their dynasty in front of Monday Night Football fans by whipping their rivals, the Washington Redskins, in the season opener of 1992. I was also there in 1984 when the Jackson 5 Victory came to town. The later was my first concert experience (at only 10 yrs old), and like so many other kids my age, I was a big fan of Michael Jackson. Disappointment came only from the horrific acoustics inside of Texas Stadium that even a little kid could determine that the building was no place for music.

RIP Texas Stadium and Dodeca 2360 Camera number ??? You served your functions pretty well.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

What's New...

Hello Dear Readers! It's been awhile since my last blog post because I've been offline for nearly one month. So, how does one go completely offline for a month in the age of wifi, iPhones, and the rest? One must go into the wild... and stay there.

If you read my post from 3/7/2010 (Grand Canyon GigaView), you know that I've been on a Grand Canyon river trip in which I endeavored to create the first virtual tour of the Grand Canyon by river. Well, mission accomplished...almost. It's not online yet, but the images are turning out really well and they should be complete sometime in June.

The 360 degree video world has been busy over the last month with some interesting new developments. Just before we launched our rafts down the Canyon, SlopeViews launched OnSnow@Whistler, a virtual video tour of Whistler Mountain and Village. This represented a quantum leap in virtual tourism and is a project very close to my heart. Having built the project from the raw video files by accurately geolocating them on the Whistler Trail and Village Maps, I was pleased to finally be able to show the power of 360 degree video on a local level.

SlopeViews' OnSnow application is based on a new technology platform from Immersive Media called IM OnScene. According to Immersive Media's website, "IM OnScene™ pairs immersive video with an existing floorplan, blueprint, map or other document, allowing the user to follow a map visually through 360° video. IM OnScene™ works for indoor and outdoor areas, and can be referenced by any image or document."

They posted several examples at their website, but my hands down favorite is a virtual tour of the United States National Ignition Facility.

The picture above doesn't do this virtual video tour justice, but this tour gives you a rare view inside one of the most advanced facilities in the world where scientists are working on perfecting laser fusion. This image is a screen shot from inside the Target Bay area where the magic happens.

There are two new 360° videos now available from both MATIvision and yellowBird, too, but those updates will have to wait for tomorrow. I'm still on rivertime.