“Eyes in the back of my head, a phrase that most kids have probably heard at least once from their mothers, is becoming reality in the form of racquetball-size cameras, like the one featured in this interview with Bubl CEO & Founder, Sean Ramsay. Ramsay demonstrates the Bublcam, Bubl’s four sensor camera/camcorder that provides a full 360 degree view of the world without any blind spots.
The sensors capture video in 720p 30 FPS or 1080p 15 FPS, while still images are 14 MP. Two file formats are created, Multiplex (1440p x 1440p) and an MP4 in an Equirectangular format (1920 x 992).
The Equirectangular format provides a flat representation of the four sensors and is a format that can be uploaded to standard video upload services, like YouTube. An example of its output is seen in the above video at 2:46.
The Bublcam features a built-in microphone, also demonstrated at 2:46 in the above video, and will connect to external microphones via Bluetooth. The cameras and camcorders connect to smart phone/tablets via 802.11n, which serve as both remote control and preview screen. The Bublcam has standard ¼”-20 tripod mounting threads, as well other features like micro SD card storage (up to 32 Gbytes) and USB 2.0 ports for data transfer and recharging the 3.7 V LiPo, battery.
Bubl has its own content distribution and management network for what they call Bubls. This is a site where Bublcam owners can share their videos and photos with the world via their Xplor app. The Xplor app takes advantage of the Multiplex format, allowing one to choose their perspective (behind, side, on top, below) in a continuous manner through simple pinch and swipe gestures. It gives one the ability to see things their eyes would miss.
Where the footage from these units really stands out is when it is paired with virtual reality headsets, which allow one to feel like they are part of the action. Ramsay points out that they are finding applications in real estate, industrial (e.g. easily documenting assets) and, of course, sports.
This crowd-funded project quickly sold out and Bubl is in the process of shipping the first units to its backers. At $799, this is an inexpensive way for content producers to begin dabbling in the creation of content for their communities or just have fun creating an “eyes in the back of the head” experience.