Latest News > 17 Apr 12 - iSTAR® THE WORLD'S FIRST AUTOMATIC RAPID 360º CAMERA LAUNCHES
Based in Scotland, camera design and manufacturing company, NCTech, is launching the world's first fully automatic instant 360º panoramic camera today at SPAR International 2012 in Texas. Eagerly anticipated, the iSTAR® is widely predicted to displace current technology across multiple sectors including the police and defence.
iSTAR® is the first 360º camera with the power to process its images internally, with no need for a computer to complete post-production processing or stitching. This revolutionary new type of rapid reconnaissance camera can be used by anyone and does not need special training or photography skills.
iSTAR® has been designed to capture high resolution panoramic photographs of road traffic accidents and crime scenes, freezing the actual scene and preserving a permanent record which can be used later as evidence. It can also be used for surveillance, general evidence gathering and pre-planning operations for counter terrorism purposes and at public order events.
Conventional cameras currently used are extremely expensive, bulky and need a trained photographer, so there is often a delay just getting camera and operator onsite. With zero set up time iSTAR® is small light and robust making it easy to transport and quick to deploy.
NCTech's co-founder and co-inventor of the iSTAR®, Neil Tocher explains: "Speed and accuracy is critical when capturing road traffic accidents and crime scenes. The iSTAR® produces high resolution panoramic images live and in real time - particularly important at a time when resources are stretched and budgets cut.
"The development of iSTAR® is probably the worst kept secret in the business and there is already a high degree of anticipation in the market about the product's launch with pre-orders well exceeding original estimates. We are excited to bring this new camera technology to market and looking forward to it being deployed throughout the country".
Operated by a touch screen on top of the camera, iSTAR® can be controlled remotely via a tablet providing a real time view, more interaction and allowing the photographer not to be in shot. The iSTAR® can also be linked live to a TV monitor or over the internet enabling offsite control and interactivity.
The iSTAR® is precision engineered like no other camera and its construction pushes the very limits of today's manufacturing and lens technology. With no moving parts and a solid steel body, it is this armour that allows the camera to operate at the highest level of precision in the harshest of environments.
Invented by NCTech's co-founders, Neil Tocher and Cameron Ure, the iSTAR® is the result of two years research and development. During this time the two worked closely with a number of key sectors including the military and police to ensure that the final product would meet their very specific and exacting requirements ensuring it is fit for purpose.
Traditional 360º imaging systems can take around 15 minutes to capture and generate a 50 megapixel spherical image. A common issue to every focus group NCTech ran in the early stages of its research was the speed and the length of time it takes to produce a 360º image.
Traditional cameras have to be physically rotated to capture dozens of images which are then painstakingly stitched together on a PC offsite. iSTAR® is fully automatic and the image it produces is the final product. This means no further post production processes or stitching.
iSTAR® is available in two models - Fusion and Pulsar - both of which capture the spherical environment - 360º horizontally and 280º vertically, including the zenith. Pulsar offers extended capabilities over Fusion, including speed and time saving features to speed up productivity and provide even higher quality HDR (high dynamic range) images. It also offers a superior user interface with live full immersive view and introduces network connectivity and fast capture for video surveillance. Fusion can be easily upgraded remotely to Pulsar.
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