Shooting panoramic videos usually requires several cameras and a lot of post-processing to piece the vids together. Those days are over. Kogeto's Dot attachment for the iPhone 4 lets anyone easily capture pano vids without having to break the bank.
Billed as the world's smallest 360-degree panoramic video accessory, the Dot is tinier than the similar Go Pano Micro and only weighs half an ounce. To get started, simply snap the Dot over the iPhone 4's rear camera and from there, just set it flat on any surface with the iPhone 4's screen facing downward and let it start recording everything around it. At first, the Dot seems rather useless, but imagine setting this thing in, say, the middle of a club. It would literally capture everyone's reactions and cheesy dance moves, regardless of where the lens is aimed at.
With the Dot, HD video (records in native 720p) is captured as "cylindrical footage." After the "de-warping" process is applied to the video, it becomes "rectangular footage" that can be viewed in a video player. But since the video is actually "cylindrical," viewers can pan through it at any given point while it's playing. (Check out Kogeto's site for sample 360-degree vids). Sure, the result is still rough around the edges and has that weird skewed look, but for $99, it's comparable to footage shot with Kogeto's $3,000 Lucy pano cam.
Perhaps the strongest selling point of the Dot is that Kogeto is supporting it with popular social networks. Pano vids can be shared to Twitter and Facebook. Because, seriously, what good is a video if you're the only one who gets to see it? Kogeto's own website will also be the host to what CEO Jeff Glasse envisions as "the YouTube for panoramic videos" in that it'll be your one-stop shop for tossing up interactive panoramic video (although such a video sharing website is not up at this time). All uploaded videos will be manipulable in 360-degrees.
The only downsides we can see for the Dot is that the attachment is 1) not compatible with other camera-equipped mobile device, such as the iPad 2, fourth-gen iPod Touch, Android smartphones and tablets and 2) it needs to be rested on a flat surface. Glasse says that it's possible Kogeto might create different Dot molds in the future, but all focus is currently on the iPhone 4, mainly because its hardware is consistent (camera placement doesn't vary as it does on other devices) and millions of people have snapped one up (and continue to).
Kogeto's currently asking for funding through its Kickstarter page. If you want to pre-order a Dot, you can hit Kogeto up with a donation by July 3. While we're seriously considering using the Dot while skydiving, we're interested in knowing where you would use this attachment. Drop us your ideas in the comments below!