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From Kickstarter to CES: Video lens does 360s on the iPhone

The GoPano device clips onto an iPhone and lets you take smooth 360-degree videos. It's much more than a party trick.

Paul Sloan Former Editor
Paul Sloan is editor in chief of CNET News. Before joining CNET, he had been a San Francisco-based correspondent for Fortune magazine, an editor at large for Business 2.0 magazine, and a senior producer for CNN. When his fingers aren't on a keyboard, they're usually on a guitar. Email him here.
Paul Sloan
GoPano at CES Paul Sloan/CNET

LAS VEGAS--Some iPhone improvements require more than an app.

One is the GoPano, an all-in-one lens and case that lets you easily take impressive 360-degree videos on an iPhone 4 or 4S. It was on display at CES Unveiled in Las Vegas.

CNET wrote about the company behind the product, EyeSee360, in April when it was raising money on Kickstarter.com, a crowdsourced funding site. Well, the startup, a team of 14 people based in Pittsburgh, picked up $140,000 and then went on to raise an undisclosed amount of funding from angel investors.

Michael Rondinelli, the CTO, said the product grew out of the Robotics Institute at Carnegie Mellon, where the optical technology was used to let robots "see" all.

The idea struck me as a party trick--until Rondinelli demoed it for me. I bet this product, which sells for $80, will take off and soon Facebook feeds everywhere will be filled with 360-degree videos.

Here's the video of my interview with Rondinelli.

CES Video
Watch this: See 360 on your iPhone