What if that ball you're tossing around could take photos? German researchers have developed a camera sphere that grabs panoramic pics in mid-air.
The Throwable Panoramic Ball Camera houses 36 phone cameras of 2-megapixel resolution. It also has an accelerometer that allows it to snap a shot at its highest point when it's barely moving.
Developer Jonas Pfeil, a graduate of Technical University of Berlin, and colleagues created the ball to make it easier to capture a full spherical panorama. You simply toss it up and then retrieve the pics via USB and see them in a special viewer.
While the ball is covered with foam, it might not be a good idea to drop it.
As seen in the vid below, it's pretty neat when used in scenic spots. Exploring the pics reminds me of that photo analysis scene in "Blade Runner."
Pfeil will be showing off the sphere at Siggraph Asia 2011 in December. The patent is pending. We'd love to see a higher-res version in the future.