Altia's PanaCast Panoramic Camera Gets Funded on Kickstarter in 12 hours
11/13/2012 by: Anshel Sag
Altia's PanaCast Camera launched today and simultaneously became available to support on Kickstarter. The PanaCast is a unique camera because it actually is much more than just a camera sensor that captures video. The PanaCast is a 6-camera array that are combined together to create a 200 degree field of view panoramic video with seamless stitching. The PanaCast camera creates this panoramic video by stitching the 6 camera sensors together using an integrated processor and then streaming that video to the cloud where it can then be handed off to any host of devices including a computer, smartphone or tablet. Currently, iOS is the primary supported OS, but Android is already in the works.
The beauty of the PanaCast and the reason why it is possibly one of the best solutions for videoconferencing and beyond is that it requires basically none of the infrastructure that current video conferencing setups demand. The only exception to this is that the PanaCast camera still requires a wired Ethernet plug to connect to the internet and power. Other than that, the PanaCast requires no more external setup, the rest is all internally contained and hosted within the device itself. The PanaCast camera actually has a server built into the hardware to enable it to serve the video content without needing anything other than the PanaCast Cloud.
The PanaCast camera effectively enables you to replace a $30,000 telepresence/conference room setup with a wider angle, whole room camera for about $700. In addition to that, PanaCast's ability to work with the cloud enables people to easily dial into conference calls remotely and to conference with people from effectively anywhere in the world. The one thing that should be considered is that, currently, the PanaCast camera does not transmit or record sound and is designed to be a video-only solution. This is because most conference setups already have some sort of high-quality audio setup that at this moment PanaCast is not trying to replace.
Another great thing about the PanaCast is its size, it actually fits in the palm of your hand. This means that it can be set up essentially anywhere you want and could theoretically be packed up and taken virtually anywhere an Ethernet connection is available.
In our conversation with Altia, they also indicated that the wired Ethernet aspect of the PanaCast may be a thing of the past with a WiFi enabled PanaCast in the future. They also said that in order to get a quality video stream, the burden of having a big, expensive pipe is also gone. They said that all you need in order to have a high-quality video stream is 1Mbps, which is astonishing to us when you consider that most smartphones require more than that for a good video stream.
We can happily say that, their Kickstarter has already been funded, however, we believe that they still have room for some more supporters since you can still get cameras at a deeply discounted price. We will admit that we were a little skeptical regarding the PanaCast considering their claims, but they have indicated to us that they will be providing us with a review sample to validate these claims.
Altia, PanaCast, Video Conferencing, Video, Panoramic, Cloud, Camera, Server, ARM, Linux
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