updated 02:20 pm EDT, Mon June 30, 2008
Olympus 360 Deg Camera
Olympus in Japan today unveiled a prototype of what's claimed as the world's first-ever true 360-degree camera and matching lens. The sensor can not only capture the entire horizontal view of a given scene but improves on early technology first outlined last year for taking vertical shots. Thanks in part to a uniquely curved lens with specially-made glass, the example can also capture at up to a 180 vertical angle versus an earlier 45 degrees, essentially allowing the camera to snap a complete dome-shaped picture of a scene.
The technology is best-suited to surveillance systems and will most likely be transformed into a shipping product for that category first, although Olympus doesn't rule out the possibility of using the 360-degree camera for other categories; the technology would help photographers create panoramas and virtual walkthroughs without requiring stitching or other complex effects. [via Crunchgear]