Point-and-shoot digital cameras have certainly come a long way in recent years, but there’s always been a basic limitation: You have to point them.
Or maybe not. The spherical, baseball-sized Bublcam is designed to take 360-degree panoramic photos and videos, much like the Street View function on Google maps. Attach it to a tripod, mount it on your bike (or your drone), or just hold it up at a concert and the Bublcam captures imagery in all directions.
The Bublecam stitches images together dynamically and stores them on a Micro SD card. Or you can stream video to your PC or mobile device using the internal Wi-Fi unit. On playback, viewers can then move around the resulting photos and images onscreen, in real time — pan and zoom around with the mouse, or with a swipe on a touchscreen.
The Bublcam records video at 30 fps at 720p resolution, or 15 fps at high-def 1080p, and exports to MP4 format. Photos output as 14 megapixel “multiplexed” images after stitching. The camera also includes a built-in accelerometer to stabilize images.
The Bublecam isn’t the only panoramic consumer camera in development, but appears to be among the first that’s ready for prime time. It’s also remarkably cool looking — like a baseball circa 2097. The initial model is expected to become available sometime this fall, with a $579 price tag. The company hopes to lower the price point to below $500 by next year, and add 3-D capabilities, including integration with the hugely anticipated Oculus Rift virtual reality headset.
Photo: Bubl Technology