Panono closes in on final design of it ball-shaped panorama camera

The product with its 36 3-megapixel cameras will start shipping in the spring

Panaono's product combines the images taken by 36 cameras.

Panaono's product combines the images taken by 36 cameras.

Panono is making a last round of changes to the design of its round panorama camera before getting ready to ship the product.

The camera stiches together images taken simultaneously by 36 fixed-focus 3-megapixel cameras located around its ball-like shape. The camera can take its pictures when up in the air, which can make for some cool effects.

Users can also take pictures by attaching the camera to a stick or pressing a button on the camera while holding it in their hand. The camera can also be remotely triggered from a smartphone or tablet.

Panono aims to ship the product in the Spring, and the product development is now entering the final stages, according to co-founder and CEO Björn Bollensdorff.

"The mechanics are basically done. We are making some adaptions after some drop tests. We are also doing the last debugging of the electronics," Bollensdorff said on the show floor of the Web Summit in Dublin.

Panono wants the final product to survive a fall from 3 or 4 meters, but is still tweaking the design. The camera should also be water-resistant.

To show the pictures taken by the camera in the best possible light, Panono has developed an app that lets users see the stitched-together images using the Oculus Rift virtual headset. Putting on the headset gave the impression of standing inside an image, looking at it in different directions.

The product won early support from would-be buyers, raising US$1.25 million in what was at the time the biggest German crowd-funding campaign.

Although Panono's camera is a fun product, its high price could make it difficult to turn it into a mass market success. When it finally ships, it will cost €599 including taxes in Europe, and US$599 in the U.S. For now, the company is taking advance orders via its website, priced €549 or $549.

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Mikael Ricknäs

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