updated 09:10 am EDT, Fri July 6, 2007
Olympus 360 Deg Projector
Camera maker Olympus today unveiled a new lens system that allows virtually an entire scene to be captured at once. The "free curved surface prism" uses specially crafted, dome-shaped lenses as well as a refracting prism to either take in 360 degrees of a horizontal scene through a CCD sensor or to project it on to a surface. Working examples of cameras (pictured) can take still photos or record video that could be useful for panoramas or security. Attachments for projectors in turn could output an image at unlikely angles or far wider shots than normal, Olympus says.
Existing so far as a prototype, the prismatic lens is not immediately set for production but is likely to find its way into both practical devices such as surveillance cameras as well as home projectors and other strictly entertainment-oriented devices.