Now that smartphones have put a high-def camera in everyone’s pocket, one startup called CENTR Cameras, is looking at new ways of capturing the world around us.
Of course, there’s GoPro, which is making it so that anyone can record amazing footage during sports or in harsh weather conditions. GoPro filed for a confidential IPO back in February.
And there’s also Lytro, which has built cameras that capture direction, colour and brightness of light, letting users pull off neat visual tricks like changing focus after a photo has been taken.
Just last week, Lytro announced the Illum, a $US1,500 camera that hopes to bring their fancy technology to the lucrative high end of the market.
CENTR Cameras, a small startup founded by former members of the iPhone camera team at Apple, has its own unique take on what cameras can do. It combines smartphone hardware and imaging software that lets users capture everything happening around them at once.
To see what I mean, watch the video below. As you watch, click and drag on the video with your mouse — you’ll be able to seamlessly look around as the video plays.
To create a 360-degree panoramic video, CENTR weaves together footage captured by four 5-megapixel cameras into a single seamless video. While previous versions of the hardware needed to do that were fairly bulky and too dense to hold comfortably, the $US399 consumer model CENTR is working on feels nice in the hand and is about as heavy as that old iPod you used to have:
While there will be accessories for mounting the CENTR camera on convenient spots like your helmet or car, you can also hold the camera to record around you, or to capture a “360-degree selfie.” It requires a rather awkward grip, though:
Since its formation in 2011, CENTR has done work based on its technology for Fox Sports, National Geographic, and the US Army. With an upcoming Kickstarter campaign, the startup is hoping to prove that there’s consumer interest in another new kind of camera.