Squito™ Throwable 360° Panoramic Camera

Squito™ Throwable 360° Panoramic Camera

Posted On: September 7, 2013
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Get ready to get your wallet out! A Boston-based designer has created a throwable device fitted with three panoramic cameras.

As the Squito, as it’s known, is thrown from one person to another, the built-in cameras take multiple airborne photos over the full course of the trajectory.

It uses orientation sensors to know when to take the images before stitching the multiple pictures together to create a single panoramic aerial shot.

The throwable camera was designed by inventor Steve Hollinger from Massachusetts and a patent for the device was granted this week.
Squito is the size of a tennis ball and is fitted with three cameras, an inertial measurement unit (IMU) – or orientation sensor – a microcontroller and image processor.

Hollinger’s patent describes the ball-shaped camera as having position sensors that can detemine whether the camera is spiraling or spinning as well as the location of the subject.

Stabilisers also mean that the images taken don’t appear blurred or out of focus.

Squito is also capable of registering the individual frames captured in a sequence.

The camera can then use all of these features to create a seamless panoramic aerial photo.

These images are sent wirelessly to the user’s phone, tablet or desktop.

Squito can also take video clips.

‘Throwable camera innovations are accelerating with advancements in sensor and imaging microelectronics,’ said Hollinger.

‘And with the advent of low-cost, high-speed cameras for outdoor recreation, an affordable throwable camera is finally within reach.’

Hollinger has created a protoype of Squito and, now that the patent has been granted, he plans to manufacture the device for commercial and industrial use.

He claims Squito can be used for sport, architecture, search-and-rescue operations, landscape photography and more.

The ball can be thrown into dangerous or unstable buildings, for example, to take 360-degree photos of the inside.

Squito can also be used with thermal imaging cameras to help emergency services find bodies in buildings.

Hollinger is developing a second Squito model that can capture slow-motion, full-spherical video of subjects visible from a bird’s-eye view along the trajectory.