Inside IT
Creating Space Beyond the Screen! The 360 Degree Camera!

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The picture above is quite different from the pictures we see every day. If we look at it closely, we can see that it has a wider field of view[1] that actually makes a complete circle. This picture was taken with a ‘360 degree camera’. While the ordinary photographs that we are accustomed to seeing are taken in 2 dimensions on one screen, a 360 degree camera takes photographs in 3 dimensional space in a spherical structure.

Recently, we can find many pictures taken with 360 degree cameras on Facebook and YouTube.

Mark Elliot Zuckerberg

Mark Elliot Zuckerberg (Source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Mark_Zuckerberg_em_setembro_de_2014.jpg)

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg spoke optimistically of 360 degree image content saying, ‘Virtual reality and 360 degree image era will come and the VR imaging, which goes beyond simply taking pictures but creates imaging with a true sense of reality, will lead the market.

Shall we take a look at 360 degree cameras and content as well as LG 360 Cam that was released with LG G5?

How Do 360 Degree Cameras Work

How are 360 degree cameras made? A 360 degree view angle must be achieved to capture all the space in one shot. However, it is currently not possible to shoot a 360 degree view with just one camera. Thus, multiple cameras are connected to capture the wide 360 degree view.

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The cameras we typically use today capture a viewing angle of approximately 50 degrees, which is similar to the viewing angle of the human eye. As camera technology gradually improves, wide-angle lenses have been developed to capture a wider angle. Super-wide-angle lenses have been developed that exceed 50 degrees and can capture a viewing angle of at least 110 degrees.

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Initially, 360 degree cameras used 6-12 narrow angle cameras to create 360 degree pictures and videos.

LG 360 Cam

LG 360 Cam (Source: http://www.lg.com/us/mobile-phones/g5#G5Modularity)

However, the LG 360 Cam makes it possible to take 360 degree pictures with just 2 lenses. How is this possible? It is possible by fitting the camera with 2 180 degree super-wide-angle fish-eye lenses.

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Picture taken with 180 degree angle fish-eye lens

A fish-eye lens[2] is a lens capable of capturing a viewing angle of at least 180 degrees. When we look at the eye of a fish under water, the eye looks as though it has a viewing angle of 180 degrees and that is why we use the term fish-eye lens. Fish-eye lenses we originally use to measure the amount of clouds in the sky, but it is now commonly used as an effect for taking pictures.

By taking 2 pictures or videos and combining the two to create a spherical image, we can achieve 360 degree contents.

Applications for 360 Degree Camera Contents

So, what sort of contents can we create with a 360 degree camera? And how can we use those contents?

① Advertising

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The first field where true 360 degree contents was implemented was advertising. Companies such as Nike and Coca-Cola were the first to use 360 degree cameras to create video content and initiated interest in the format. Now many other companies are using 360 cameras to create interesting video content.

② Media and Entertainment

Heinz Field Panorama

A panorama of Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. This panorama was taken at the end of the Pittsburgh Steelers/Kansas City Chiefs game (Source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Heinz_Field_Panorama.JPG)

360 degree content is expected to have an impact in gaming and sports in the media and entertainment field. In particular, 360 degree video allows viewers at home to experience sports such as soccer and baseball as if they were watching them live at the stadium. KT actually implemented 360 degree video with VR content during a live broadcast at a pro baseball game.

③ Security and Safety Technology

360 degree cameras can be used in security and safety technology as well.

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Since existing CCTV technology is prone to blind spots, 360 degree camera technology can increase the efficiency of security systems. 360 degree cameras can also improve the safety for drivers by being able to detect object that are out of drivers’ field of view.

Let's look at the Capabilities of LG 360 Cam

Spec

① Versatile Specs

LG 360 Cam has a 200 degree 1300 pixel cameras installed on each side of the device, which makes it possible to capture 360 degree images. LG 360 Cam comes with Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and USB 2.0 for data transfer and is equipped with enough memory to handle 2K (2560×1280) resolution and shoot 20 minutes worth of footage with a 1200mAh battery capacity.

It also has 3 mics installed for 5.1 channel stereophonic sound, which makes for more complete video content.

② Fits in One Hand and Supports All Types of Shooting Modes

dual-wide-angle-1600x840-AM_M01A

LG 360 Cam (Source: http://www.lg.com/us/lg-friends/lg-LGR105.AVRZTS-360-cam)

LG 360 Cam makes recording daily life anytime, anywhere possible with its small size and easy to use functionality (press the button once for pictures and hold the button for 1 second to shoot video).

It also supports various recording modes. Changing features such as exposure, W/B and ISO, shooting in 2K (2560×1280) resolution and shooting in 360 degree (spherical) or 180 degrees (half-spherical) mode can be configured easily in one hand.

③ Compatible with Various LG Friends Products

LG Friends

LG Friends (Source: http://www.lg.com/us)

The newly released LG 360 Cam is part of the LG Friends line and can be used together with LG G5 to create even more exciting video contents! Contents shot with LG 360 Cam can be uploaded to YouTube without conversion by connecting to the Google Street View app.

Check out the LG Friends online shopping mall for more detailed information on LG 360 Cam.

We have now taken a look at 360 degree cameras and 360 degree video contents. As the 360 degree camera market is beginning to receive a lot of attention, we will soon be able to see what types of content will be implemented in different fields.

How would you use a 360 degree camera?

Written by Donggu Kang, LG CNS Student Reporter


[1] Field of View: The angle at which a camera captures an image [back to the article]

[2] Fish-eye Lens: A super-wide-angle lens that captures a field of view over 180 degrees. These lenses were initially used to measure the amount of cloud coverage in the sky but are now used for many other purposes [back to the article]

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