Robin Good: The PanaCast Experience is a new prototype video camera capable of a 200° field of view, live streaming, and with the integrated ability for each viewer to custom select dinamically his favorite point of view.
"In videoconferencing applications, the Panacast goes beyond a stationary, rectangular screen by providing a real-time panoramic view of the room and giving users the ability to pan and zoom the scene from their computer or mobile device."
"The PanaCast uses a system of six cameras to capture HD video at 60 frames per second, and a custom-developed video processor that synchronizes and stitches all the images in real time to create a single, 200-degree panoramic view of the room."
The Panacast camera itself runs an instance of the Linux operating system and features a dual-core ARM 11 processor.
"Altia’s server then uses a low-latency encoding process that allows you to stream the video over a cellular or Wi-Fi connection, unlike some videoconference systems that require dedicated bandwidth.
Remote participants can view video using the company’s Mac or Windows app or on their iPhone or Android devices.
On mobile devices, you can use familiar touch gestures, such as pinch-to-zoom and swiping left or right, to zoom in on notes written on a whiteboard or to pan over to a speaker on the other side of the room."
Check this review of the Panacast on GigaOM: http://gigaom.com/2012/11/13/altia-systems-makes-video-conferencing-panoramic/
N.B.: The PanaCast does not have a built-in microphone.
The PanaCast apps are free, and there is no subscription fee for up to two simultaneous remote participants.
The Panacast camera is being crowd-funded through Kickstarter and it has already reached its funding goal much ahead of its deadline.