Video Technology Comes Of Age
By Ralph Thomas
We are about to enter a new
age of video and photo technology in which the viewer interacts to and
observes views from all sides of a given point of view. Although panoramic
photography has been around for a long time, it it now merging with video
technology and the internet to produce was is now being called Immersive
Immersive Video Technology
is 360 degree photo technology that lets you move around in a photo north,
south, east west as well as up and down direction. It is also been called
VR technology or virtual reality. To get a feel of this in basic terms,
go to the panoramic view of the Spy
Exchange and mouse around with the second photo. Virtual Panoramic
views have been around for a while and are often used to show panoramic
views of the insides of homes on the online real estate for sale web sites.
You can click here to view
some more panoramic type video examples from
Maps And Street Views
Google Maps is the really the first mapping service to offer what
they call Street Views. Street views lets you go up and down streets,
look to the north, south, east and west as well as look up and look
down. You can actually walk or drive around certain locations now
with this technology. To the right is a camera they use that it
attached to a vehicle that drives around so you can use this technology.
If you want to try it, go to: http://maps.google.com/.
Once there, type in either New York City or Las Vegas. Zoom the
map in, click on Street Views and then click on the people icon
that you will see on the map. You can then move around at street
view and look to the left and look to the right. We you come to
intersections that have arrows going down those streets, you can
turn left or turn right with your mouse and travel down those streets.
You can now travel down major cites throughout the world without
even leaving your desktop. Not only that, there is likely a whole
lot more to come in the near future. Think about stores linking
up to street views in which you can enter stores and actually shop
in virtual reality in them. It's coming to a computer screen near
you never soon!
Screen Shots Of Street Views On New York City And Las Vegas from Google
If you have seen a gray VW
with a strange looking camera on it's roof (see above) driving around
a major city, this is likely the vehicle that is taking the Immersive
photos for Google Maps Street Views. The secret of course is in the 11
lens camera called Dodeca
2360 which shoots the images and then seamlessly stitches the images
together with a software program so viewers can then move around in the
photo 360 degrees.You can review video demos of this camera by clicking
here. Someday in the near future, investigators will be using video
cameras like this. As of June of 2007, Google has shot 35 cities and 45,000
miles totaling over 125 million images. You can beat that they plan on
shooting very major city in the world with six vehicles in North America
and three in Europe.
Apple's QuickTime VR
QuickTime VR is an authoring program that lets you stitch photos together
making a 360 degree panoramic photo and then lets you create a QuickTime
VR others can interactive with. There is even link hotspots than can be
created that would let one click on (for example) a door and then walk
inside which would then present another Quicktime VR. To see a sample
of Apple's QuickTime VR, click
here or on the graphics below. For more information on QuickTime
VR, click here.
VT Sample Of Time Square! Click
Here To View It.
Below are some
more QuickTime VR Examples.
VR Full Screen. Click
Here To View It.
For Even More Full Screen Quicklime VRs, Click
Here for A QuickTime VR Of A Race.
The good news about panoramic
views is that you can obtain stitching software and do this with just
about any camera. You simply take photos at different angles and then
stitch them together with software such as Cannon
PhotoStitch which has ben around for a long time. There are several
other photo stitch software programs you can use including stitcher,
EasyPano, and PhotoFit.