Who needs a 360-degree camera and lens? Olympus thinks surveillance mavens will eat this up, this camera with eyes in the back of its head, capturing images of all that takes place within its all-encompassing line of sight. It works like the Google Maps Street View Dodeca 2360 camera, shooting in all directions, but this one has just one lens instead of an array of 11. It’s also can’t shoot 360 degrees vertically like Google’s camera can; this one takes in a 360-degree horizontal image with a 180-degree vertical view, good enough for us because we don’t have much need to shoot feet and ceilings.
Olympus isn’t saying when it’ll ship such a camera/lens combo, but we think this product should be marketed to other segments in addition to those nosy surveillance people. Think video conferencing, with this camera sitting in the middle of a conference room table. With super high resolution and some clever software teamed up with an accurate directional microphone, it could pinpoint who’s talking and frame up a perfect shot of each participant at the appropriate time with no mechanical panning necessary. Sure beats buying a dozen plane tickets.