Panoramic Photography and Insights of Innovation from Failure

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In our latest tech piece, Justin McLaughlin takes us deep into the world of underwater cinematography with the newest technology from 360Heros in EATT Magazine for iPad and iPhone.

Before diving into this preview of our current edition, here’s a sneak peak at the stunning panoramic photography of Chris du Plessis that we’ll be covering in our next travel segment.

 360° Elephant Walk in Botswana

Click and drag the image below to begin the panoramic tour in Botswana:

This panoramic tour was photographed at the Living With Elephants Sanctuary in Botswana. While embarking on his last trip to Africa to photograph wildlife, Chris had the opportunity to interact with these animals in person- an experience viewers can catch a glimpse of thanks to his interactive photographs.

Blyde Canyon 360 Aerial Panos

Click and drag the image below to navigate the aerial panoramic image in South Africa:

Blyde Canyon is a popular landmark in South Africa. While tourists frequent the Swandini Forever Resort located at the base of this canyon, few have experienced the perspective offered by this aerial panoramic photo captured with a drone and 360 degree photo tech.

Into the Abyss

360Abyss

360Abyss

360Heros Next Generation Underwater Panoramic Video Gear

While testing their first prototype panoramic scuba gear, one shark off the coast of New Zealand set the stage for  360Heros  creation of the world’s most powerful underwater panoramic video and photo gear – the 360Abyss.

Virtual Reality Videos

Invented by 360Heros CEO Michael Kintner, the 360Abyss allows divers to capture high-resolution panoramic virtual reality videos and photos 1,000 meters below the sea. Content captured with this device offers a complete 360 x 180 degree field of view that can be explored via increasingly popular virtual reality headsets such as the Oculus Rift, the Samsung Gear VR and Google Cardboard VR viewers.

These experiences are not reserved for VR enthusiasts, as web users can navigate the videos using their mouse and mobile users can control their experience by physically rotating and tilting their device.

Download the 360Heros Mobile App: iOS  and Android

Innovation from Failure

Currently, the 360Abyss stands as one of the most innovative tools in the world of VR and underwater cinematography- a status that was not achieved without adversity. 360Heros’ first prototype scuba gear was destroyed by a great white shark while shooting footage for the Discovery Channel’s Shark Week:

Discovery Channel’s Shark Week

Discovery Channel’s Shark Week

360Heros first-ever prototype scuba gear being attacked while filming Shark Week.

The device you see plummeting to the ocean floor, the first prototype of 360Heros scuba gear. Its run-in with one of the ocean’s most powerful predators played a key role in the development of the 360Abyss. A more rugged, powerful and advanced version of the original gear, the 360Abyss is built to withstand the ocean’s most extreme conditions and was designed with “shark proofing” as a goal that was only semi-comical.

What this Means for Serious Divers

Before the 360Abyss, divers had to choose between large rigs with five-figure price tags or smaller video gear with a maximum depth rating of 150 meters and reduced image quality. The 360Abyss offers the best of both worlds as a small, durable unit capable of super HD image quality.

Its size (10″ / 25 cm circumference) and light weight (6 lb 9 oz. / 2.987 kg) mean divers can operate it with a simple monopod or other handheld mounts. Its extreme depth rating and 14 3/8” (0.9525 cm) standard mounts make it ROV (Remotely Operated Vehicle) and submarine ready. Variable buoyancy is another key feature, as interchangeable camera compartment doors (polycarbonate or anodized) allow divers to switch between positive, negative and neutral unit buoyancy.

Tourism and Recreational Diving

While professional divers marvel at the 360Abyss as a new tool, it represents an exciting opportunity for the tourism industry. The availability of interactive panoramic content means that resorts and scuba diving excursions can offer potential customers virtual tours of their dive spots and ocean fronts. On the flip side, vacationers can explore locations such as the Great Barrier Reef with a first person perspective before investing in holiday packages.

Scuba remotely explore dive locations

Scuba remotely explore dive locations

Oceanography

For oceanographers and scientists, this new technology means being able to study and document the ocean and its wildlife with a new level of immersion. Currently, the first models of the 360Abyss are being used by researchers and cinematographers to film great white sharks and study their behavior. Documenting the Great Barrier Reef, exploring underwater caves and discovering new wildlife are all exciting possibilities for the 360Abyss. By bringing us a greater understanding of life underwater, this technology will help us to protect the environment and raise awareness for ocean conservation.

From professional divers filming wildlife to scientists studying underwater habitats, the desire to explore our oceans and visually document them is strong. The arrival of the 360Abyss means that people can do just that and experience aquatic life in a manner never before possible.

Download your free Panoramic PDF guide on Chris’s top tips

More details can be found at 360heros.com
The app for iPad and iPhone 360Heros 360 Video Library – Google Cardboard Ready

Click and drag the image to interact with the panoramic photograph

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