Once you think you’ve seen it all, someone comes-up with the unexpected. If necessity is the mother of invention, then this new camera surely arrives at a time when unprecedented uses of cameras for both recreational and public service purposes are occurring. Boston-based artist and inventor Steve Hollinger has just been awarded a second patent in the United States for his Squito camera ball. The device is a ball equipped with embedded cameras and position sensors that can take panoramic images in both reconnaissance and recreational situations.
“Throwable camera innovations are accelerating with advancements in sensor and imaging microelectronics,” says Hollinger of the camera ball. “With the advent of low-cost, high-speed cameras for outdoor recreation, an affordable throwable camera is finally within reach.”
It is a simple concept, but with intricate technology at work. Once you toss the ball, orientation sensors capture and process images of the ball’s flight trajectory. The device is able to re-orient the images taken by the multiple cameras in the ball, so as to create normal panoramic images. What you get are images taken from perspectives and vantage points only possible now using intricate camera rigging.
There is also the reconnaissance aspect of the camera, where a host of new and possible uses could be made through the use of Squito. “As a reconnaissance tool, Serveball’s (the mother company) patented technology meets critical operational and performance standards, performing reliably when airborne and at the front lines of search-and-rescue, first responder and tactical operations” claims Serveball’s website. The company is at the forefront of technology development of throwable cameras and wireless systems able to process amalgamated landscapes, stabilized video panoramas as well as full spherical panoramas for both reconnaissance and recreation. Serveball is founded by Hollinger.
Hollinger’s Squito is the size of a tennis ball and it uses three cameras, a microcontroller, image processor and inertial measurement unit. Media captured by the Squito camera ball can be wirelessly transmitted to a designated computer, tablet, or even smartphone.
See the amazing potential of the Squito camera ball over on Serveball’s website.