Beta

Slashdot: News for Nerds

×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

This 360-Degree, 4K Video Camera isn't Getting Kickstarted (Video)

Roblimo posted about 2 months ago | from the not-everything-makes-the-cut-even-if-we-like-it dept.

Hardware 61

This is something that caught Tim Lord's eye as he cruised the 2014 Bay Area Maker Faire: A 360 4K-resolution video camera. It's not out yet for retail sale, but if you look at the Centrcam website you can see a number of videos their cameras have shot, including some high-motion ones that they say, truthfully, are excellent to watch full-screen. The people who came up with this aren't college students who have never done any professional design work. Rather, they're "the same team that engineered and built the Apple iPhone cameras." So it's no wonder they have made something pretty cool that has already been used to make videos for Fox Sports, National Geographic, and the U.S. Army, among others. Their Kickstarter blurb is pretty cool, too. It is one of the most detailed ones we've ever seen. It's sad that they only got $607,628 of their $900,000 funding goal, considering all the work they've put into their product, along with the great presentation. They didn't know this would happen at the time this video was shot at the Maker Faire; their Kickstarter time window didn't close until four days ago. But there are other ways to fund a startup, and we hope they manage find one -- because we would eventually like to get our hands on one of their cameras and test it for ourselves, possibly with a little help from some of the Bradenton Riverwalk Skatepark regulars. (Alternate Video Link)

cancel ×

61 comments

Well, thanks for telling us after the fact (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47155381)

Good work, now we can be disappointed, too.

Re:Well, thanks for telling us after the fact (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47155601)

It gets better, we can also Slashdot them AFTER it's too late for their kickstarter!

Re:Well, thanks for telling us after the fact (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47162653)

You link is to something completely different, that's to work with your existing camera&tripod and power it through a range of motion from 1 to 360 degrees, a great product, but something very different. The great thing about the CentrCam was that it would take 360 degree video and was pretty small. I can see me sticking this to the top of my helmet while snowboarding; well I could have had I know before to contribute to the kickstarter campaign and if it had been successful. Ah well hopefully they will succeed via another channel.

Re:Well, thanks for telling us after the fact (1)

zlives (2009072) | about 2 months ago | (#47156317)

for those really interested.
there are other kick starter devices like https://www.kickstarter.com/pr... [kickstarter.com] but others as well....

Re:Well, thanks for telling us after the fact (1)

Roblimo (357) | about 2 months ago | (#47158735)

Not only that, but there are other ways of raising an early round of funding if you bomb on Kickstarter. It's the biggest crowdfunding site, but neither the only one nor necessarily the best. Here's an article on Forbes.com about crowdfunding: http://www.forbes.com/sites/ch... [forbes.com]

Now, the sad thing about Centrcam is that they had excellent engineering, and a detailed proposal, but that proposal was probably too technical for the majority of people who might have helped them through Kickstarter. Other sites might be better for them. And they might want to get some marketing advice, too.

About Slashdot running this after their Kickstarter campaign failed: I didn't know about their Kickstarter deadline until last Friday. Way too late. And I don't think they explicitly told Tim the expiration date of their K campaign. If they had, I'm sure he would have jumped the Centrcam interview in our video editing queue. If I had known, I sure would have. Ah, well....

Offer a ROI? (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47155385)

The could try getting investors by offering a return on investment... rather than begging us regular joes to fork out a few hundred $ for a product we may or may not actually get and don't have much use for.

Re:Offer a ROI? (1)

poetmatt (793785) | about 2 months ago | (#47155869)

It also looks like crap, which is amusing as the actual slashdot news post for this camera implies entirely differently.

Re:Offer a ROI? (1)

Roblimo (357) | about 2 months ago | (#47158757)

No, the finished cam looked great. But they took Tim through the whole development process, starting with early prototypes. This jazzes people like Tim and me, but can put people off who are used to seeing the finished device, not prototypes. This is a good lesson for you if you ever do a crowdfunding campaign.

Re:Offer a ROI? (1)

poetmatt (793785) | about 2 months ago | (#47163269)

I disagree 100%. The quality of the video that comes from this camera looks more like 4 1080p cameras at best and 4 480p cameras in reality.

I think the idea of a 4k panoramic camera is good, but I haven't seen a single video from their kickstarter that wasn't absolutely grainy as shit and significantly worse than the average smartphone.

Dear Slashdot (5, Insightful)

jandrese (485) | about 2 months ago | (#47155499)

If you're going to post stories about a Kickstarter, do it BEFORE THEY END. It's pointless to post after the Kickstarter has ended. Given the way the Editorial cycle works on Slashdot, you should probably post at least a week before they end, so the story shows up at least a couple of days before it's too late to do anything about it. I had never heard of this Kickstarter until this story, and I suspect I'm not the only person in this boat.

Re:Dear Slashdot (1, Troll)

BitZtream (692029) | about 2 months ago | (#47155913)

This is simply roblimo posting a story for timothy. When timothy is involved you can rest assured there will be much ignorance and stupidity involved as well, hence why it comes up now rather than then.

The upside to it is also that given history, you don't want to be involved with anything timothy posts about. He's about the biggest idiot I've ever seen and thats impressive considering the Internet's sheer size.

This story is just another excuse to make it appear that timothy isn't worthless, and whats more slashdot hides one editors posting behind another editor doing the writing and trying not to use the name everyone will recognize right off the start. This is just an excuse to post more bullshit that timothy spews.

Re:Dear Slashdot (1)

iamagloworm (816661) | about 2 months ago | (#47157005)

Mod parent up!

On that note... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47157535)

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/giroptic/the-worlds-first-full-hd-360-camera

Another project, similar idea but can capture both the cylindrical (above/below camera occluded) 360 projection and dome (below camera occluded) 360 projection.

Oh, and the Kickstarter hasn't ended.

Re:Dear Slashdot (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47157667)

That's not how Slashdot works.
Slashdot editors pick user submissions.

Did anyone submit this to Slashdot before the deadline?
If not, don't blame Slashdot.

Re:Dear Slashdot (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47158183)

No thanks, we need less Slashvertisements, not more.

Re:Dear Slashdot (1)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | about 2 months ago | (#47159779)

Hello dumbass. Slashdot is not a fucking advertisement platform. In fact, it is preferable that Slashdot does NOT give free publicity to some random bullshit. In fact, slashvertisements occur so often, I will be surprised if, someday, the editors are not exposed as corrupt. This sort of thing restores a shred of credibility...though it could equally be described as incompetence.

Re:Dear Slashdot (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47164449)

It was going to cost 700 USD, it was DOA.

Sad? (1)

rhsanborn (773855) | about 2 months ago | (#47155513)

Why is it sad that people didn't donate money to a for profit company?

Re:Sad? (1)

tomhath (637240) | about 2 months ago | (#47155655)

True. As I understand it, Kickstarter is for creative works that are not really intended to be commercially successful, just cool. If you're looking to start a business raise some venture capital.

They got $600K for free. (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47155611)

Sounds like pretty good deal to me.

Re:They got $600K for free. (1)

OverlordQ (264228) | about 2 months ago | (#47155701)

Not sure if serious. You have to meet your goal to get the money.

Re:They got $600K for free. (2)

JeffSh (71237) | about 2 months ago | (#47157265)

i think hes serious but you're missing his point.

I don't like kickstarter, because in the end, your funding is to purchase /something/ be it a product, a service, a unique bauble or something special the kickstarter folks can provide you. you are not buying shares, you are simply helping provide the market for a companies to-be-delivered-in-the-future project.

not reaching a goal is not necessarily a failure to fund, more like proving that the market never really existed. publicity failure can be a reason, but in the end, a kickstarter is not an investment mechanism, it's a futures-market for product.

Re:They got $600K for free. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47155711)

Sounds like pretty good deal to me.

Somebody doesn't know how kickstarter works:

https://www.kickstarter.com/he... [kickstarter.com]

Every project creator sets their project's funding goal and deadline. If people like the project, they can pledge money to make it happen. If the project succeeds in reaching its funding goal, all backers' credit cards are charged when time expires. If the project falls short, no one is charged. Funding on Kickstarter is all-or-nothing.

Rockethub / Indiegogo (1)

mbone (558574) | about 2 months ago | (#47155653)

Indiegogo and Rockethub offer the option (Indiegogo) or have a model (Rockethub) where you keep what you raise (minus a cut, of course). Kickstarter is of course all or nothing.

For example, Rockethub's terms of service are described in their FAQ [rockethub.com] , which says

"Reach your goal: 4% commission fee + 4% credit card handling fee
Don't reach your goal: 8% commission fee + 4% credit card handling fee"

Yes, Kickstarter is roughly an order of magnitude bigger (in terms of participation) than either Indiegogo or Rockethub, but an actual take is better than a zero take.

Re:Rockethub / Indiegogo (1)

IMarvinTPA (104941) | about 2 months ago | (#47155765)

If it still puts you on the hook to produce something and you don't have enough to do it, I'd rather get the nothing and be able to walk away.

Imagine a Rockethub fund raiser to go to Mars that only reaches 80% of its goal. You'd get a ride to mars, but will you have enough food and a safe landing too?

Re:Rockethub / Indiegogo (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47155839)

Kickstarter works like this by design. You can't do a $900K project for $600K. It's not about "take". It's about delivering product. If they could build it for $600K they would have set $600K as the target and $900K as a stretch goal, but they didn't.

Re:Rockethub / Indiegogo (1)

cdrudge (68377) | about 2 months ago | (#47155865)

but an actual take is better than a zero take.

Unless you're one of the backers that contributed $600k but may never see any type of return. It depends on what exactly your funding. Some projects might be able to scale back and still be successful in a more limited ways. Other projects however may require the full amount so that the economy of scale kicks.

Re:Rockethub / Indiegogo (1)

Roblimo (357) | about 2 months ago | (#47158579)

Not so. With Kickstarter, you pledge whatever amount you like, and you only come up with the money if/when the full amount has been pledged. So if a project asks for $900,000 and only gets $600,000 pledged, everybody just says "Oh well" and walks away.

Re:Rockethub / Indiegogo (2)

cdrudge (68377) | about 2 months ago | (#47158769)

Right. The OP was saying that Rockethub and Indiegogo have options that can allow a project to be partially funded instead of an all or nothing. In those cases someone who has pledged an amount and is expecting something in return may never receive it. So while the project may be happy to at least get partial funding, the pledgers may be unhappy. But of course that's always a risk with any type of kickstarter-like project where things don't pan out.

If you need to make 10,000 widgets to reach a price point in manufacturing, but you only get 2/3 funded for instance, you likely aren't going to be able to produce 2/3 of the 10,000 widgets. You may only be able to produce half as the per piece price can start to increase dramatically the few and fewer you make and buy individual components for.

Shark Tank (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47155749)

... has auditions [go.com] in San Diego on June 7th.

Dashcam (1)

Joel Cahoon (2906501) | about 2 months ago | (#47155751)

This would be great as a dashcam. It would have retailed at $399, which is less than my $500 deductible; if it saves me from even one single careless, lying motorist who caused an accident and then tried to claim it wasn't his fault, it's more than paid for itself. And that's before even considering increased premiums and fines.

I really hope this gets produced anyway. I'll be first in line to get one.

Re:Dashcam (1)

BitZtream (692029) | about 2 months ago | (#47155897)

You do realize that while you're rates may not go up after one accident, if you have more than one, regardless of fault, your rates are going up, right? First one is an accident, second one is a pattern, third one that you aren't 'at fault' for ... is your fault. You're doing something at that stage to put yourself in the wrong situation.

Second, you're willing to spend 80% of the cost, to get you out of the rare circumstance where the only evidence is your word against his word ... and ignoring the fact that 99 times out of a 100 the cops can tell who's lying based on physical evidence at the scene even with no witnesses ... and you're assuming that its GOING to happen, you're GOING to get in to an accident ... with the dash cam that doesn't have an obstruction preventing it from seeing the cause ... rather than wait and see if you need to spend any money at all ... just so you can save at best ... $100? How useful do you think this thing is going to be on your roof (for unobstructed view) after someone steals it?

While you may have convinced yourself of this logic, your argument is really pretty silly.

Re:Dashcam (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47156031)

the rare circumstance where the only evidence is your word against his word

This isn't rare, this is absolutely the norm. Why do you think insurance companies go knock for knock and offer protected no claims in the first place?

99 times out of a 100 the cops can tell who's lying based on physical evidence at the scene

Cops are not unpaid insurance investigators, and don't give a fuck who's lying unless someone is seriously injured or dead. 99 times out of 100 nobody is seriously injured or dead. You are not going to get a cop to back up your petty insurance claim, not in this universe anyway.

Re:Dashcam (1)

Em Adespoton (792954) | about 2 months ago | (#47157473)

How useful do you think this thing is going to be on your roof (for unobstructed view) after someone steals it?

Actually, I know exactly how I'd mount this... inside one of these: http://telcoantennas.com.au/si... [telcoantennas.com.au]

Unless you looked closely, it would look like a standard antenna, not like some fancy expensive camera. As an added bonus, these are mounted as part of the refit on most police vehicles (including bait cars) and cars with these mounted are often avoided by smart car thieves (not Smart Car thieves).

You could make nifty travel videos with these too; and if they had wireless communication, the days of "oh! Look at that... oh, you missed it" would be gone, as the kids in the back could whip out the iPad and scrub through the footage to see what it was they missed.

What terrible marketing! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47155805)

I work for a small market research firm and I'd have picked several of these up IF I HAD KNOW ABOUT IT BEFORE HAND. I hope it gets refunded, I've been wanting something like this for years.

High motion? (2)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | about 2 months ago | (#47155891)

including some high-motion ones that they say, truthfully, are excellent to watch full-screen.

Which are the "high-motion" ones? I'd hope that would mean upwards of 50fps. Did you just mean "lots of things moving around"?

Re:High motion? (1)

Em Adespoton (792954) | about 2 months ago | (#47157509)

I think the high motion cams are those ones they did for Fox sports -- 3 industrial cams instead of the four phone cams, likely at 60fps. The downside is that they have to be connected to a computer instead of being standalone.

Re:High motion? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47157719)

"High motion" likely refers to the content of the video. There are plenty of 8MP cameras on the market today for CCTV, but if you try to use them for a sporting event you are not going to be happy with the results because they don't have the processing power to keep up.

Use case? (5, Insightful)

slinches (1540051) | about 2 months ago | (#47156059)

Am I missing an obvious need for full 360 panorama cameras? Maybe some small businesses or tourist destinations would want one to stream a panorama of their location on a website or something. But what would the general populous do with it that justifies a $250 price tag? Maybe use it as a home security cam?

Also, why is it a bad thing that a Kickstarter like this failed? The team invested a relatively small sum of money to find out if there was a wider market for their product and as it turns out, there isn't. That's far better than the other option of paying (most likely more than what Kickstarter cost them) for market studies and then still having to find investors (or lenders) to front the costs of a full production run.

Re:Use case? (1)

StripedCow (776465) | about 2 months ago | (#47156625)

They should open a kickstarter project for growing a second visual cortex in the human brain. *Then* this camera project will become useful. Perhaps.

Re:Use case? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47156955)

Am I missing an obvious need for full 360 panorama cameras? Maybe some small businesses or tourist destinations would want one to stream a panorama of their location on a website or something. But what would the general populous do with it that justifies a $250 price tag? Maybe use it as a home security cam?

Also, why is it a bad thing that a Kickstarter like this failed? The team invested a relatively small sum of money to find out if there was a wider market for their product and as it turns out, there isn't. That's far better than the other option of paying (most likely more than what Kickstarter cost them) for market studies and then still having to find investors (or lenders) to front the costs of a full production run.

Dash cam for airplane flying, car racing, motorcycle trips, mountain biking... just the things I can think of off the top of my head.

Imagine how much cooler all those crazy Russian dashcam videos would be if you could see 360 degrees of the action. ;)

Re:Use case? (2)

timeOday (582209) | about 2 months ago | (#47157189)

Not reading their minds, but IMHO the use case is action cams. Shoot now, aim later (in postprocessing), and with as much image stabilization as you like. Of course, cropping out 80+% of the image, you want to start with high resolution which is why 4k (or even higher) is good.

Re:Use case? (1)

slinches (1540051) | about 2 months ago | (#47158547)

True, action cams seem to be what they're promoting. If it's durable and has a high enough frame rate, that seems possible. Although my personal opinion is that market may already be near fully captured by GoPro and the added feature of full panoramas is only needed by a subset of it.

A few sibling posts suggested they'd be useful as dash-cams. This seems unlikely since placement on the dash would capture video of the occupants, which (while potentially entertaining for everyone else) is counter to the purpose of reducing personal liability of the driver. That problem could be solved by mounting it externally, but it would likely need a separate enclosure to protect it from the elements (it's only "splash-proof").

Re:Use case? (1)

Type44Q (1233630) | about 2 months ago | (#47157595)

Am I missing an obvious need for full 360 panorama cameras?

Yes. Among other things, it's the next logical step in the evolution of that we affectionately refer to as a dashcam.

Re:Use case? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47157963)

Am I missing an obvious need for [thing]

The answer to these type of questions is and always will be:

Porn.

Re:Use case? (4, Insightful)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | about 2 months ago | (#47158167)

Am I missing an obvious need for full 360 panorama cameras?

I don't know if it's obvious, but this will be great for VR. If you have a binocular headset with head tracking, it's pretty clear that the next thing is for you to do is to look around. Take Endless Barrels [youtube.com] for example. I'd love to give that a go in 360.

Speaking of which, GoPro should hire this team. If they don't, Facebook will, and that would be worse.

Re:Use case? (1)

Molt (116343) | about 2 months ago | (#47160865)

Some 360 degree cameras will be great for VR, but this one wouldn't. The vertical field of view isn't that great and it'd just appear as a loop round you rather than actually giving you the experience of being there.

Something like the Bubl [bublcam.com] camera would work a lot better, there you almost have a full spherical capture so the user can look up and down.

Re:Use case? (1)

Gaspard de Coligny (3639401) | about 2 months ago | (#47161185)

Village idiot don't understand something, say that therefore it's useless... Movie at 11...

Re:Use case? (1)

slinches (1540051) | about 2 months ago | (#47161707)

Did I say there was no use at all? Of course not. I'm sure someone really wants one of the these cameras. The question is whether there are enough of those people to commit to a full commercial production run. The Kickstarter was a test to see if there was enough demand at the $200-250 price point to make large scale production worthwhile. As it turned out, there isn't. I didn't decide this, the market did.

If you have something useful to add, like the obvious use case to which you implicitly refer (which I asked for already), please enlighten me. Otherwise, you're welcome to take your ad hominem attacks elsewhere.

So timmy likes to cruise SF (1, Offtopic)

Nyder (754090) | about 2 months ago | (#47156145)

Wonder if he's as bad at sex as he is at editing?

Re:So timmy likes to cruise SF (1)

StripedCow (776465) | about 2 months ago | (#47156635)

Are you hinting at a new use-case for this camera?

Re:So timmy likes to cruise SF (1)

tomhath (637240) | about 2 months ago | (#47158527)

Well, one of the pictures [amazonaws.com] does hint at something

Wondering (1)

koan (80826) | about 2 months ago | (#47156195)

If you use Kickstarter is there any reason you can't accept funding from other sources? Because Kickstarter is something I can see everyone using just to pick up some extra funding. Sort of Kickstarter abuse, but then I would guess it's only abuse depending on the end result.

Re:Wondering (1)

jandrese (485) | about 2 months ago | (#47156457)

Many Kickstarters setup Paypal or other pre-order sites after the fact. Theoretically the point of Kickstarter is to get a product started, so once it is released the people need a plan for regular sales anyway. Adding a traditional pre-order channel to that is hardly a stretch after you've done a Kickstarter.

For a failed campaign however, that pre-order site would have to cover all of your expenses because failed Kickstarters do not give the backers any money. The pledges are simply never processed. If you couldn't get enough traction on Kickstarter, your chances with some random site are pretty darn slim.

It is not unheard of for people to make a new Kickstarter for the same product if the first one fails, especially if it shows a reasonable amount of interest the first time around and the backers didn't realize until too late that they needed to advertise more or simply make a better Kickstarter page.

Boohoo... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47156267)

A kickstarter campaign did not meet it's goals. Go call the waaaahmbulance. Why is this news today - especially after the fact? I really wanted a MS Courier, but didn't make a sad-panda post on /. when I heard the r&d for it stopped.

Sheesh folks.. either bad advertising, bad word of mouth, or flat out just not many folk (outside of a niche tech mavens) wanted it. It happens, but it isn't newsworthy.

Because this is better? Bublcam (3, Interesting)

Maxwell (13985) | about 2 months ago | (#47156489)

Looks better, works simpler, uses a sane resolution....

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/bublcam/bublcam-360o-camera-technology-for-everyone

They are well into stretch goals...

Re:Because this is better? Bublcam (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47158475)

Sane resolution? You meant lower resolution and lower framerate than Centrcam.

Re:Because this is better? Bublcam (1)

Zontar_Thing_From_Ve (949321) | about 2 months ago | (#47158613)

Looks better, works simpler, uses a sane resolution....

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/bublcam/bublcam-360o-camera-technology-for-everyone

They are well into stretch goals...

Worse technology (check the 1080p frame rate - yikes! That will not look natural at all.) Higher price. It does look better though. The main difference is what I see as a problem with a lot of Kickstarter campaigns. Bublcam is getting funded because they asked for less than half of what the other guys want. There's a really simple rule of Kickstarter - the less money you ask for, the more likely you are to get it. The other guys raised more money than Bublcam, but because their goal was so high, they failed to reach it. I've seen quite a few funding campaigns fail because while the product was worthwhile, the amount asked for to fund it was not realistic. I think it was yesterday we had an article about an Indiegogo campaign for a robot to help with a malaria vaccine and while the goal is quite worthwhile, the amount asked for was too high for a disease that doesn't effect the vast majority of Slashdotters and unless things change drastically, it won't be funded either.

Cool, but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47156595)

I think I'll wait out for the 4 edition.

I can understand (1)

StripedCow (776465) | about 2 months ago | (#47156687)

It only records cylindrically, not spherically.

"Maker" "faire"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47157187)

Sounds like an unholy alliance of hipsters and cosplayers.

Check for New Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...