Object of Desire: Panono Panoramic Camera

March 26, 2014

By Dan Havlik

If the Panono looks more like a workout device for extraterrestrials than a camera, that’s probably OK with its inventors. This innovative, throw-able camera has got its eye(s) firmly set on the future. Developers have tried to create a working, toss-able snap shooter that can capture 360-degree imagery for a number of years but, for one reason or another, these ball-shaped cameras have never come to market. (One of the biggest technical issues has been how to prevent recording motion blur with a camera that is, literally, spinning end over end.) The folks behind Panono are hoping to change all that. The spherical device has 36 cameras embedded across its surface and when Panono is tossed, these digital imagers all snap a picture simultaneously as the ball reaches its highest point and is, ostensibly, no longer moving. (An accelerometer inside the ball senses when Panono reached the spot of least motion and triggers the cameras.) The images are then stitched together via software creating a head-turning, 360-degree, 72-megapixel panorama.                  

Price: $599