Funded! This project was successfully funded on January 1, 2013.

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The PanaCast Experience utilizes this 200° field of view panoramic-HD internet streaming camera to allow you to be there from anywhere.

With the PanaCast camera  - which is an ultra-low latency panoramic-HD multi-imager video camera and integrated streaming server - you can stream panoramic-HD video to anyone anywhere with an Internet connection, on their personal devices (enabled with our Apps), giving them individual freedom and control to pan and zoom across the whole 200° field-of-view streaming video as they like.

WE LIVE IN A DISTRIBUTED, MOBILE WORLD

Today we are more mobile than ever. We work in different locations. This places new requirements on our collaboration tools. Today's video solutions do not give you the full view and immersive experience of actually being there.

Multi-screen telepresence systems only work if you are in a dedicated telepresence room and cost around $300,000.

Now imagine a low cost solution that lets you remotely see everything in the meeting room on the devices you already own, from anywhere.

You can look to the left, look to the right, focus on any portion of the visual panorama in front of you, independent of anyone else, just as if you were there. You can view the speaker, you can view the boss, you can focus on the action items or block diagram on white board… just like you were there.

Experience the panoramic human view from anywhere as you play, live, learn and work​.

PANACAST - LETS YOU BE THERE FROM ANYWHERE

PanaCast is a brand new technology that combines unique, patented hardware and state-of-the-art algorithms and software, all the way from optics, video capture and transport through rendering on client devices, enabling you to experience and individually control a pristine panoramic-HD video stream with a panoramic 200° field of view. It gives you the same control and human visual perspective of actually being in the meeting.

Simple controls allow you to pan across the panoramic video. You can zoom in on the speaker, or zoom in on the whiteboard, all without affecting the views of other remote participants. You control what you see, just as if you were there.

PanaCast is priced below $700 and comes with free apps that give meeting participants the full immersive experience on the devices they already own: mobile as well as PCs.

EXPERIENCE PANACAST™

The PanaCast Experience helps connect friends and co-workers anywhere in our tele-connected world, giving everybody a panoramic human visual perspective in real time. Unique hardware and state-of-the-art algorithms and software create an immersive panoramic-HD live video stream with a 200° field of view at an unprecedented price point. Mobile (Android, iOS) and PC (Windows, Mac) apps enable you to select your own individual perspective from the camera with the swipe of a finger, over WiFi or cellular. Easily carried in one hand, PanaCast cameras can be taken or moved anywhere and enable immersive panoramic video for everyone, anytime, anywhere.

 Check out the PanaCast Sample Video today on iOS™

We know Kickstarter people are bright, early adopters. As you use PanaCast to connect with friends and co-workers, and in other new ways; if you're okay in providing us feedback that we may use to make the experience better, we'd love to hear from you!

Actual video recorded with the prototype PanaCast Camera in October 2012.

The early adopters who have used PanaCast in pre-release test drives have told us that it helped them improve how they communicate with friends and co-workers every day, for work or personal life. We have also discovered new uses for the solution through such discussions, such as in helping teams collaborate better, to learn, to develop new technologies, to solve problems, and in other ways. We hope you will take up and enjoy the PanaCast experience! We will listen to your feedback on what works, what could be better, and the new and great ways this solution can help all of us around the world improve the quality of our everyday life in ways that we have not yet discovered.

FAQ

1) How does the camera achieve this performance?

The PanaCast camera is an ultra-low latency panoramic-HD multi-imager video camera and integrated streaming server, built with a new, highly-optimized architecture made possible by innovations in State-of-the-Art hardware and software technologies.

A custom-developed multi-imager video processor synchronizes and stitches video input from six camera modules in real-time to create a panoramic 200° field of view. The video stream is then encoded by an advanced, ultra-low latency H.264 codec into a very efficient payload that can be transported over the existing network.

Dual ARM microprocessors are integrated to run the Linux operating system and real-time firmware. It could be reasonably considered as a visual computer which processes visual information (from photons in to compressed and encoded bits delivered to the network) in real time.

Performance-optimized software (integrated in our free downloadable apps) enables real-time, individual interactivity on participants’ personal devices.

By comparison, conventional telepresence solutions cost up to $300,000 and require maintenance and dedicated bandwidth in addition. And such telepresence systems require the participants to be  physically present in dedicated rooms to get the full experience.

2) Are there any mandatory usage or subscriptions fees to use the camera?

No for up to 2 simultaneous remote participants. We may in the future provide additional value added services like recording in the cloud, or streaming to more than 2 remote participants.

3) Does the camera take still shorts or record to local storage?

The camera is designed primarily to stream video in real-time the view from a location (room) to remote participants. Using PC/Mac editing software, you can extract still photos from the video stream. Local and remote storage options are under review.

4) Will it work in my office?

Yes, and we will work with you to facilitate this, in any case you may return it for a refund within 14 days if it does not work in your office. After you attach it to your network and it receives an IP address via DHCP, then any device within your network authorized to connect with that IP address can receive the video stream.

5) What is the resolution of the PanaCast camera?

2700x540 pixels at up to 60 frames per second.

6) What IP do you own?

1 patent granted, 14 pending.

7) Are you planning additional versions of the camera aimed at different markets?

Yes in the long term, but right now we are focused on business/social enterprise unified communications. We are open to feedback from users on additional applications and markets.

8) What is your Manufacturing Plan?

As of today we have received 15 cameras from our contract manufacturer in China. We expect another 20 units in December and a further 100 cameras in January 2013.

9) What client applications platforms do you plan to support?

  • iOS v5 and later (for iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch)
  • Windows XP and later
  • Mac OS X 10.6 and later
  • Android v2.3.3 and later

10) Will you provide an SDK so I can write my own client application?

Yes we plan to make this available. It is also possible to use the Open Source VLC player to view the output of the camera using its RTSP URL.

11) How does audio work?

Recognizing that many of us use our smart phones or other speakerphones for the audio bridge and to keep and store contacts and other information, in typical audio communications, we work with audio delivered by POTS (Plain Old Telephone System) phones or speakerphones, or smartphones over cellular networks, with video being PanaCast in parallel by our camera. We plan to provide integrated VoIP (Voice over IP) support in our client applications, to allow the remote participant to hear and speak, including the use of an audio bridge for multi-party meetings.

12) What interface does the camera have?

Ethernet RJ-45, 5V DC, USB (Type A socket)

13) What is the USB used for?

The USB port is used to update firmware of the Linux computer and other processors. In the future, we may support 3G/4G modems, Memory cards, Speakerphone, WiFi etc. We would like to get your feedback on what additional functions you would like to see.

14) How is the PanaCast video camera different than a conventional camera?

A conventional camera gives you a narrow field of view; the PanaCast camera  gives you a 200 degree field of view. It does this by synchronously stitching video from six adjacent cameras in real-time. The six-imager PanaCast camera introduces new optimization parameters not found in conventional cameras, such as the range across which the imager seams are optimized for overlap and alignment.

15) What is the focal range of the PanaCast Camera?

The focal range is from 1 foot to infinity. The focus is fixed.

16) Can you see the seams where the 6 images are stitched together?

Yes, you may see some artifacts at the seam boundaries. The PanaCast camera is optimized for the 6-20 feet range. Outside this range, the seam boundaries may be more noticeable.

17) What are the dimensions of the PanaCast Camera?

15” height including the stand. 5.5” diameter of the camera head, 13” diameter of the camera stand base.

18) Can the camera be used on a different stand?

Yes, using the standard tripod mount (thread size: standard, 1/4"-20tpi {threads per inch})

19) How much bandwidth does the camera consume?

The camera typically operates from 300Kbps to 1Mbps. The camera automatically adjust the bit rate, frame rate and resolution to optimizes the image quality based on available bandwidth and network conditions. In addition it is possible to limit the maximum bandwidth to a value of your choice.

20) Is there a flux capacitor upgrade option?

We are considering adding time travel as an in-app purchase, but that technology is still under development!

Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

The hardware design is complete and functional. The mobile apps on iOS are working but more work is required to improve the user experience . Android and Windows, Mac clients have just started. Audio is supported via any conference line bridge or smart phones. Volume manufacturing and tooling needs to be setup.

The image will be stitched. You may see some artifacts at the seam boundaries. The PanaCast camera is optimized for the 6-20 feet range. Outside this range, the seam boundaries may be more noticeable, and objects closer than that may appear to be cut off or incorrectly stitched.

Given the 3 years of development so far we see the risks as fairly low.

FAQ

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    SUPPORTER: Show your support and stay updated: when you pledge the price of a cup of coffee with us ($3), we will include your name on our website as being among the backers who helped kickstart the PanaCast experience. We will also keep you updated with our latest news.

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    T-SHIRT: You'll get a PanaCast t-shirt. We will randomly select one person who bought a t-shirt to be given a PanaCast Camera. You will be among the very first to receive a camera!

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    HANGOUT in December 2012: Come to a private dinner with the team in Cupertino CA, get an invitation for you and a friend to come to our shipping party, and a signed PanaCast Camera which we will provide at the dinner in January 2012 (travel and accommodation not included).

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