There are many ways to extend the iPhone’s camera feature, but there hasn’t been a good accessory to take panoramic video. Thankfully, Dot, a Kickstarter project has managed to raise enough funding and will start shipping this summer.
In a video posted on Kickstarter, David Sosnow, Head of Product Development Kogeto, the New York City-based company behind this project, requested $20,000 to develop the hardware but managed to raise nearly $40,000 over one month ahead of schedule.
The camera extension can be easily attached to the device, and after you place it in a convenient location, it will be able to record 360º video of what’s going on around it. The accessory is essentially comprised of a lens that will sit over the camera and a a rubber dock to keep it secured. The device should be used face down, in a way that the camera is facing up. Once the lens is attached, users can use the native camera app to record, then use an app provided by the company to turn the donut-shaped raw video into a 360º panorama.
As for video quality itself, it’s directly dependent on the quality of the phone’s camera. iPhones currently shoot at 720p (1280×720), so the raw video will have that quality, which after being parsed and turned into a panorama using the provided app, will be at a resolution somewhere near 1280×352.
The video will then either be saved locally or uploaded to Kogeto’s website later this summer. From there, users will be able to share their panoramic videos with their friends on Twitter and Facebook, as well as embed them on their own website or blog if they wish. Any user with the browser will be able to see the whole panorama and scroll 360º around it, much like a online photo panoramas.
In addition to Dot, Kogeto already manufactures Lucy, a professional-grade 3D panorama creator used for education and security purposes. Unlike Dot, Lucy doesn’t require a phone to function, since it already includes two microphones and a two high-end high definition cameras.It could be said Dot is Lucy’s smaller brother: a smaller product that adapts to the lifestyle of consumers. While Lucy might be suitable to record classes, Dot is meant for recording parties.
Low-volume production is set to begin in early Summer and full production should begin in August. In addition, the company is hosting a launch party in June to thank its donors.