Monday, April 13, 2009

Funky Camera

Here's a clever network camera, the Digital Window D7, that captures a bunch of different views at once. According to the Times article the images are stitched together and streamed as one. They call this technique Scallop Imaging. I call it clever.

This is a great alternative to fish eye cameras or PTZ (pan, tilt, zoom). I can understand that PTZ would be an issue if it's not pointed where you want it. Fish eye distortion is ugly. It seems to me that the fish eye problem could be taken care of in software though. I would imagine that removing the distortion wouldn't be that difficult. (Maybe less difficult than stitching together 5 images in real time.)

I've been playing around with network cameras and this one looks like a winner. Of course at $800 it's a bit pricey. You could buy more than 8 decent network cameras for that price. Of course you would have to deal with a jungle of wires and mounting all the cameras would be a nightmare. (Even the WiFi cameras need power cables, at least until we get that wireless power working well.) The photo shows an Ethernet jack on the bottom. The data sheet says it supports Power of Ethernet and H.264. I want one.

Thanks to CAK for pointing this out to me.