Kogeto dot Makes Your iPhone Take 360 Degree Videos
A simple lens attachment that snaps on to your iPhone 4/4S allows it to take 360 degree panoramic movies.
Panoramic photography has always required expensive photographic equipment. Now anyone with an iPhone 4 or 4S can take a 360-degree photo.
The $79 Kogeto dot snaps on to the iPhone with its special circular mirror device over the front camera. You take pictures with the Kogeto app, called Looker. The device feeds light from all directions into the iPhone camera, where Looker processes it into a panoramic video file.
You can view this file on the phone itself, using your finger to pan around, or on a Web page using Kogeto's embedded player, as in the example below. Drag your mouse on the image to the left and right to pan through the entire 360-degree shot.
Looker also lets users post directly to Facebook, where visitors can pan the image directly on the Facebook page. We tested this and it worked fine. You can also post to Twitter, which links to a page on Kogeto's website.
The product design depends on the physical format of the phone, and so the current model, which is available online from the vendor, will be available in all Apple stores this month. It also supports the very popular iPhone 4/4S.
The company will be shipping support for Android phones this year. There isn't an individual Android phone with the overwhelming market share like the iPhone's, so it's harder to address this market with a physical device matched to a particular phone. Kogeto is approaching this market challenge in two different ways: support specific phones, perhaps with OEM partnerships; or use some sort of adjustable strap.
Kogeto will ship its dot for the Samsung Galazy Nexus in the second quarter of this year. It also demonstrated for us (on the video above) a couple of experimental approaches to a more generic solution, such as a lens on an adjustable strap.
You don't want to make too much of these videos. The quality is obviously not top-notch, although Kogeto promises improvements. It's a gimmick--although an interesting and useful one. It's also a lot of fun.
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