Olympus Prototypes Omnidirectional Camera with 180-deg Vertical View

Jul 2, 2008
Yukiko Kanoh, Nikkei Electronics
A CCD camera with the prototype lens
A CCD camera with the prototype lens
[Click to enlarge image]
An image of a room shot with the prototype CCD camera
An image of a room shot with the prototype CCD camera
[Click to enlarge image]

The Future Creation Laboratory of Olympus Corp announced that it developed a lens capable of shooting omnidirectional images and prototyped a CCD camera incorporating the lens.

The latest lens was developed based on the "axisymmetric free-form-surface lens," which was announced by the laboratory in July 2007 (See related article 1, 2).

With a horizontal view angle of 360° and the vertical view angle of 45°, the existing axisymmetric free-form-surface lens has a hemispherical shooting range. In contrast, the lens prototyped this time has a spherical shooting range, with horizontal and vertical view angles of 360° and 180°, respectively, the laboratory said.

The new lens is made of glass and has a cylindrical shape measuring 3cm in diameter. According to Olympus, the incident light is reflected inside the lens before entering the camera.

Though the company said that it has no plans to commercialize the lens or the prototyped camera, it intends to focus on the technology development with a view to applying the lens to security cameras and other products.