Olympus: Shooting and Projecting Omnidirectional Video Images in Full HD

Nov 20, 2007
Tsunenori Tomioka, Nikkei Monozukuri
On the left is a camera that can shoot video images with horizontal and vertical viewing angles of 360 and 50°, respectively, in full HD resolution. In the center is the projector that can project images shot with the camera. At right is the image projected on a cylindrical screen.
On the left is a camera that can shoot video images with horizontal and vertical viewing angles of 360 and 50°, respectively, in full HD resolution. In the center is the projector that can project images shot with the camera. At right is the image projected on a cylindrical screen.
[Click to enlarge image]

Future Creation Laboratory of Olympus Corp prototyped a new camera and a projector. The camera can shoot video images with horizontal and vertical viewing angles of 360 and 50°, respectively, in 1080i full-HD resolution, and the projector can project the images shot with this camera.

Based on Olympus' proprietary "axisymmetric free-form-surface lens" unveiled in July 2007, the prototypes have enhanced resolution and widen viewing angles. The lens had 760 scanning lines and a vertical viewing angle of 45° when it was first announced in July. The resolution and the viewing angle were achieved by optimization of the imaging optics (lens group) including the axisymmetric free-form-surface lens, the company said.

The lens is shaped like a top with a diameter of about 6cm. It is made of plastic. It can form omnidirectional images (horizontal and vertical viewing angles of 360 and 50°, respectively) on a plane surface in an annular manner, or project annular images on an omnidirectional surface.

When a projector equipped with imaging optics, such as this lens, is combined with a cylindrical screen, viewers can enjoy content that is only possible with the use of an omnidirectional device. When installed on the ceiling, a camera equipped with this optical system could be used as a security camera capable of monitoring in every direction.