Smile, you're on Aqueti camera | Editor | Indy Week
Editor
INDY Week editor Lisa Sorg's blog

Archives | RSS

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Smile, you're on Aqueti camera

Posted by on Thu, Feb 6, 2014 at 12:23 PM

LISA SORG
  • Lisa Sorg

When I saw the enormous contraption—two people had rigged a camera about the size of a banker's box with wires and cables extending from the back— at the corner of Corcoran and Main streets this morning, I immediately thought, "surveillance." NSA. Google Street View. A spy satellite fallen to Earth.

But it was none of the above (supposedly). Instead Aqueti, a new company founded by Duke electrical engineering professor David Brady, was testing a camera that produces panoramic, high-resolution digital images and streaming video. Scott McCain and Susan Prochnow were shooting the buildings at the corner to build a portfolio of images downtown. The thought is people could then embark on an interactive tour of downtown Durham online with picture quality and detail not possible with conventional cameras.

The scare owl on top of the Mechanics & Farmers Bank? You ostensibly could see the ruffle in its plastic feathers. The flowers in the second-floor window of the Generations Community Credit Union? Count the petals.

Prochnow told me they recently took panoramic shots of a Duke basketball game, including the crowd. If those images were uploaded online, you could find yourself among the mass of blue and even crop the image to show just you and your friends.

McCain, who studied photonics in graduate school at Duke, built the camera. Its lens is a sphere, like a crystal ball,  and behind it, a series of micro cameras that each grabs part of the curved image and sends it to a sensor. The chip then flattens it for viewing. The file sizes are quite large, but can be compressed. 
LISA SORG
  • Lisa Sorg


The current setup is cumbersome, and reminded me of a high-tech version of the 19th-century large-format wooden cameras that required the photographer to shade the viewfinder (and himself or herself) with a hood. In addition to the camera, the two are packing around a industrial-strength tripod, a car battery and a laptop computer. Yet McCain envisions the next generation of the camera to be the size of a Canon DSLR, and at about the same price: $2,000.


Tags: , , , , , ,

Pin It

Comments

Showing 1-1 of 1

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-1 of 1

Add a comment

INDY Week publishes all kinds of comments, but we don't publish everything.

  • Comments that are not contributing to the conversation will be removed.
  • Comments that include ad hominem attacks will also be removed.
  • Please do not copy and paste the full text of a press release.

Permitted HTML:
  • To create paragraphs in your comment, type <p> at the start of a paragraph and </p> at the end of each paragraph.
  • To create bold text, type <b>bolded text</b> (please note the closing tag, </b>).
  • To create italicized text, type <i>italicized text</i> (please note the closing tag, </i>).
  • Proper web addresses will automatically become links.

Latest in Editor



Twitter Activity

Most Recent Comments

ProudlyUnaffiliated.....Well You sure wrote a fkn mouthful about shit unrelated to this story and added your political twist and felt …

by Tony D on Why did Craig Hicks kill three Muslim students? Because he lost his humanity. (Editor)

Chris, I used a zoom lens!

by Lisa Sorg on Durham is a city of things unnoticed: Such an odd find at the Jack Tar Motel (Editor)

Q: "8 feet off the ground, is an odd spot for a light switch.
How did one reach the switch?" …

by Chris Tiffany on Durham is a city of things unnoticed: Such an odd find at the Jack Tar Motel (Editor)

Very neat, as a 38 year old skateboarder, one of the things I've always talked about, since I was a …

by Noah Goyette on Durham is a city of things unnoticed: Such an odd find at the Jack Tar Motel (Editor)

At her lecture yesterday, Dr. Fullilove mentioned that the redlining mortgage maps were unavailable except by visit to the National …

by Andrew Edmonds on Love Durham? Then you need to come to
Mindy Fullilove's talk about cities
(Editor)

Comments

ProudlyUnaffiliated.....Well You sure wrote a fkn mouthful about shit unrelated to this story and added your political twist and felt …

by Tony D on Why did Craig Hicks kill three Muslim students? Because he lost his humanity. (Editor)

Chris, I used a zoom lens!

by Lisa Sorg on Durham is a city of things unnoticed: Such an odd find at the Jack Tar Motel (Editor)

Most Read

No recently-read stories.

Visit the archives…

© 2016 Indy Week • 201 W. Main St., Suite 101, Durham, NC 27701 • phone 919-286-1972 • fax 919-286-4274
RSS Feeds | Powered by Foundation