Best 10 uses for 360 video and panoramas

360 cameras for the masses

360 cameras are a new toy. A few enthusiasts have them and flooded the internet with weird pictures with a circle in the middle of the picture containing a scene that looks like it is sucked into a vortex and with lots of blue all around it. And if that would not be enough, in the middle of the picture is either a giant hand or a weird looking dude that for some reason is smiling going into the vortex. You know I’m right. You’ve seen yourself. Because yes, that is one of the differences of taking a regular picture of a scene and a 360 panorama. You can’t get out of a panorama.

And yes, there are remotes, there is software that can “remove” you, but it’s not as easy as pulling the camera or phone from your pocket and posting it on the internet. However, Facebook and YouTube are now making it easier to upload a panorama.

Facebook and YouTube are taking this 360 trend very seriously. Facebook has a team working in a Facebook Group to help people interested in the subject to post and share 360 media. YouTube has whole new channel called 360 Videos featuring daily media and it id making it easier to filter for 360 Videos.

Top 5 Facebook Groups about 360

So why 360? Why the appeal for it? Well, there’s the obvious immersive experience. With the growth of VR, and the multitude of VR headsets that are invading the market, VR can become more of an utility than just a novelty.

Best 10 uses for 360 video and panoramas

1. Real Estate

This is an obvious one. 360 panoramas in RealEstate are used for a while now. But I think the industry will take it to the next level. Imagine a virtual guided tour. Imagine a real estate agent guiding the virtual you (that would be played by an operator with a camera on its head) through the entire house, giving you details about the house, the backyard, the pool. Now if this is not like the real thing, what if you are looking for a house in a far away country. Then you would appreciate this.

This can be easily realized with a Samsung Gear 360 with a STUNTMAN G Body Mount

2. Car Sales

New car sales are already doing a great job at showcasing the inside of the cars with detailed pictures and brochures. But what about used cars? Do you get the feel from seeing a few pictures on an add, on the internet on how that car “feels” ? Imagine sitting in the car, looking around at all the features, the back seats the roof. Used car sales can definitely benefit from this. A smart car salesmen can buy a simple camera like STUNTMAN G Body Mount for less than 300$, mount it on a 10$ Mini Tripod Mount and use his phone as a remote to capture a virtual tour of a car. This trick might just get him that buyer sitting in front of the computer to love the car and get there to see it.

3. Virtual Travel

Well, for one, you don’t need to go anywhere anymore. You just need to open Google Maps Street View and be anywhere you want to be in the world. But the Travel agencies can take it further. They are already sending their people to the hotels and resorts around the world to give you first hand reviews. But what if you could go with them? What if one of these people would mount a Kodak PIXPRO SP360 Action Cam on a STUNTMAN G Body Mount. What if you could sit with them by the pool, be served at the restaurant, jump in the ocean (yes, there are waterproof camera’s too) or enjoy part of a show. That would really convince you to buy one resort versus another,.

4. Virtual human experiences

There is a large spectrum here. Your friends could shoot a video at a party you can’t attend to, or a hike you missed or a great gathering you can’t get to. Imagine you can relive all that later with your phone and a simple Google Cardboard. Or take it even further and visit your family far away, watch a basketball game recorded by your buddy from the seat next to him, relive your friends trip from his perspective. Showing pictures from your trip can turn into a VR night to remember.

5. Training and Seminars

This can be very effective. Instead of watching a dull screen and hear a voice in the speaker, you could “have a seat” in the audience, see the expression on the faces of the people next to you. I think the training can be way more effective with an immersive experience like that.

6. Virtual impossible experiences

Are you afraid to do bungee jumping? To jump out of a plane, to go rapid river rafting? How about to go on a trip to the Moon, or to the international space station. Well, Unless you have millions of dollars, these are impossible experience that can be made possible using VR and 360 video.




7. Virtual Shopping

Oh, don’t say it wont happen. This will happen. There are way too many opportunities to monetize this experience. Maybe you are not interested to visit your local mall but others might be. You might be interested to visit a mall in Dubai, a fashion street in Rome or Paris or an expensive jewelry store where you would not feel comfortable setting foot in. What if you could buy what you see? Imagine the possibilities $ $ $

8. Virtual Art, Movies

This is a definite posibility, it is happening already to a certain degree. VR Movies, VR art galeries, VR museums. To visit the Vatican, the Louvre, Royal Ontario Museum, Aquariums. Possibilities are endless.

9. Relaxation

What if you put on your Google Cardboard on with your phone in it and you spend your lunch break on your favorite beach. Or in a flower garden listening to a music that will deeply relax you. Or watching the people walk by in Central Park. VR will take relaxation to another level

10. Risk taking and adventure

And last but not least… extreme sports and extreme experiences. Do a zip line in Peru, jump out of the airplane or ride the largest roller-coaster in the world. Or ride an actual roller coaster and imagine you are flying through a town as Superman.


These are just a few. I can’t even imagine what the future will bring. But sure is exiting.

Do you know any uses that I may have missed?  Do you have a business or know someone that already does some of these? Leave us line or a comment in our community page on Facebook. I would love to hear from you.

 

Paul Keys
360cameraHQ.com
Find me on Facebook

 

Top 5 Facebook Groups for 360 photography and video enthusiasts

Top 5 Facebook Groups for 360 photography and video enthusiasts

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If you are enthusiastic about 360 videos or panoramas and you want to mingle with your peers, these are the top 5 Facebook Groups that you can join.

1. Facebook 360 Community Group

over 39,000 members

Created on March 3rd 2016, Facebook 360 Community Group is the official group created by the Facebook team to promote 360 videos. With close to 39,000 members in 7 months, this is the group to be in. It is obvious that Facebook believes in the future of 360 videos and photography.

Group Description:

A place to come hear about updates directly from Facebook, to share thoughts and ideas around cool 360 experiences, and engage with the rapidly growing community of creators.

Admins:
Brad Ferry – Growth Manager – Workplace by Facebook at Facebook
Caitlin Ramrakha – Product Marketing Manager at Facebook
Sherif Kassatly – Product Manager at Facebook
Marj Garrow – Facebook

 

2. Samsung Gear VR 360°

over 6,500 members

Started on September 25, 2015, Samsung Gear VR 360 is a niche group dedicated to the fans of 360 degree content.

Group Description:

With all of the memories we make, the 360 degree aspect allows everyone to see the world as you see it. Lets all band together in one place, in this group, to get all the content right here! Videos, Images, Yes a news story here and there but mostly 360 degree content. Lets see the world the way it was meant to be seen! All videos/images are property of their respective owners.

Admin
Kyle W. Harms

3. 360° VR Video Professionals

over 6,300 members

Created on February 9, 2014, 360 VR Video Professionals is a Community dedicated to professionals.

Group Description

360 video community for professionals and people interested in the field. This groups covers everything from single-shot mirrors to multi-cam arrays, from web, to personal immersive projections to full-dome productions. From concept, to camera tech, to shooting and editing, to deployment and streaming, and everything in between.

This is a moderated group, off topic or disruptive posts will be deleted by the group admins. Posts without relevant content (i.e. gear and location pictures without editorial) will be deleted as well.

If you are interested in joining, make sure your profile indicates interest in the field. If your profile does not show anything related to 360 VR, your request will be ignored.

 

Admins:
Ryan Whitehead – 360° Creative Director – VR Supervisor at Digital Domain
Joergen Geerds – Chief Executive Officer at Koncept VR




 

4. Ricoh THETA Users on Facebook

over 4,700 members

Started on October 25, 2013 this group is dedicated to the Users of the Ricoh Theta Cameras. The Thetas are one of the most popular 360 cameras due to the portable format.

Group Description:

This group is for the discussion and sharing of content specially created using the Ricoh THETA 360° panoramic photography camera.

Admins
Gavin D Farrell – Host at The Panographers
Alexandre Jenny – Senior Director Immersive Media Solutions at GoPro
Richard Broo – CEO & Founder at Wemersive
Denis Gadbois – Director of MFA Programs at University of Calgary

Aaron Priest – Panographer/Timelapser at Aaron Priest Photography

 

5. 360 Panorama Photos and Videos

over 2,400 members

Started on July 6, 2016. 360 Panorama Photos and Videos was started by enthusiasts. The goal of the group is to share individual creations, panoramic photos and videos created by users.

Group Description:

When you upload your 360 image, please add in the camera you used to take your panorama, and a location and country as well. Thank you. Explore photos in 360°
Admins
These are the top 5 Groups with the highest number of members that are covering 360 photography, videos and cameras. If you are interested in this subject, you should check them out.
Paul Keys
Contact me on Facebook

360 Camera 360Fly

360fly-portable-cameraWhen looking for a 360 camera, size is definitely an issue. If you want to have your camera portable and be able to carry it around, size and weight is on the top of the criteria list. With a tag line that suggests portability and availability “Miss Nothing”, the 360Fly is the world’s smallest 360 camera

This little camera comes in two variants: 360fly 4K and 360fly HD. Withe a raw video resolution of 1504×1504 and a flatten resolution of 2560×1280, 360Fly, even with only one lens captures a good 240 degrees of the field of view. Because it is a single lens, it won’t be able to give you a full Spherical 306 view

With the 360fly 4K’s First-Person mode activated, just orient or mount your camera with its lens facing forward and OnePush button centered/facing up and use your 360fly like traditional point-and-shoot action cameras.

360Fly Specification

360Fly – 4K 360Fly – HD
SIZE Depth: 61mm x Height: 59.5mm Depth: 61mm x Height: 59.5mm
WEIGHT 172g 138g
CAPACITY 64 GB 32 GB
RESOLUTION 2880 x 2880 pixels 1504 x 1504 pixels
CONNECTIVITY Wi-Fi [802.11b/g/n], Bluetooth 4.0 Wi-Fi [802.11b/g/n], Bluetooth 4.0
RECORDING RATE 50 Mbps 20 Mbps
BATTERY 1.5 hours of video recording Up to 3 hours of video recording
AUDIO FORMAT Stereo AAC 48KHz 96Kbps Mono AAC 48KHz 64Kbps
MICROPHONE built-in dual omnidirectional built-in
SENSORS accelerometer, e-compass, non-assisted GPS, gyroscope accelerometer
POWER SOURCE built-in li-polymer battery (1780mAh) built-in li-polymer battery (1630mAh)
CHARGING TIME Approx. 2.5 hours with 1.5A charger Approx. 2.5 hours with 1A charger
Buy from 360Fly Website Buy from 360Fly Website

 

360 Camera – Samsung Gear 360

360-camera-samsung-gear-360

 

Samsung has done it again on the 360 camera front. Samsung has the best gadgets on the market and this is no different. Awesome and easy to use, Samsung Gear 360 comes with a Dual CMOS 15megapixel sensor.

 

 

 

This camera can work as a Single CAM or Dual CAM.

Packed with Gyro, Accelerometer, a 1350mAh battery and a MicroSD Card slot (up to 200GB) and with an internal 1GB of RAM, this camera is quite a performer. It comes in a small package of  66.7 x 56.3 x 60.1 mm (152 g incl. battery).

 

360-camera-samsung-gear-360-portable-phone

The camera connects on Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac (2.4/5GHz), Wi-Fi Direct, Bluetooth® v4.1, USB 2.0, NFC

If you are a Samsung fan, you will be happy with this camera. It is compatible with all the new Samsung Devices Galaxy S6, S6 edge, S6 edge+, Note5, S7, S7 edge using the Samsung Gear 360 Manager app. It is also working very well on a PC with the Gear 360 ActionDirector software. But unfortunately not compatible with OSX or iOS yet for editing capabilities.

 

USA Canada


360 Camera – BublCam

If you’re looking for a small, lightweight, cool looking sphere camera BublCam is a great choice.

bublcam

Based in Toronto, Bubl Technology Ltd. company produces BublCam, an innovative camera capable of capturing 100% of the spherical range in photo and video (bubls), without any blind spots. The Bublcam is an end to end technology solution allowing you to capture, view and share bubls through its hardware, web and mobile apps. It also includes features for HDR and time lapse photos.

Full Camera Control

Full camera control is available directly from the Bublcam or remotely via the mobile app for iOS or Android. You can trigger capture from another room or preview your content via the live stream.

Specifications

Powered by a 3.7V LiPo at 1560mAh battery that charges through USB in approx. 2 hours, the Bubl has 4 lenses of 5 Megapixel with 190deg Field of View. Only 160deg are used due to the construction of the sphere. The focal length of the lens is 1.2mm and the minimum Focal Distance is 25 cm. It takes 14 megapixel photos or 30 fpsvideos at 1440p x1440p resolution or 15 fps video at 1920p x 1920p resolution. They are saved on a microSD/SDHC card 4Gb to 32Gb in size. Can connect through USB 2.0, and WiFi. Is equipped with a Tri-axial +/- 1.5G accelerometer. Software is compatible with Mac OSX and Windows 7, 8, 10.

BublCamcaptures/ stitches video in two formats: Multiplex and Equirectangular.

A Multiplex file displays the content captured from each of the 4 lenses in separate quadrants of the file.

An Equirectangular file displays the spherical stitched content in a flat projection.

It’s a small 800 (3.14″) diameter sphere that weights 280 grams making is a fun portable 360 camera

BublCam – Buy on Bubl website


Multi Camera Setups for 360 videos

multi-camera-setup

While the amateur market is filling up with the cheap 360 cameras, the pro’s are keeping it real with Multi Camera setups. 2, 3, 4, 5,6 cameras sometimes even up to 14, mostly GoPro because of their performance during action scenes, mounted together to capture all the angles of the scene. The prices for these gears vary from the low 300’s up to 5000 – 6000 dollars. Cameras not included.

One company that is really focused on this multi camera support market is Freedom360

With accessories like multi camera mounts, poles, tripods, stabilizers, Freedom 360 is a leader in this market.

Of course working with something like this is challenging and all the captured images would be nothing without the Software. Freedom 360 is offering Software products to help with the post editing.

If one really wants to get the details of every angle, add more cameras. 360Rize is taking it to the next level. With setups that can take up to 14 cameras, this hobby can become expensive.

Their Top of the line product 360Orb (Pro24), a monster setup with …you guessed it 24 GoPro cameras.

Only 1770 $. Not too bad. Oh wait…. you also need 24 GoPro’s So at ~500$ a piece… hmm…14k

But what a setup. Imagine wearing that on your head while walking around in a crowded place.

Till Next Time

Paul