WEIN, AUSTRIA – It may not win any prizes at the next Easter Parade, but Austrian video technology pioneer Alessandro Dimas has developed a headworn rig holding six Go- Pro action video cameras or more at a time to produce 360 degrees of video around the wearer.
Called the 360° Video Helmet, the “novelty 360-degree video technology” is billed as “a special kind of camera holding device that is worn like a helmet.”
Dimas said the gear can be modified to carry up to 18 GoPro cameras at time.
The company, Dimas Technologies (360-Degree-Video.com), developed the head gear to enable the production of “spectacular videos with an even better 360-degree view, without arduously carrying around a handheld camera device.”
The inventor said he developed the mounting rig with the aid of a 3D printer, which showed that a traditional helmet made of metal or some other material would have been heavier and more difficult to construct than the eventual design.
Today, Dimas offers a video production service that shoots and edits 360-degree videos for clients’ special events, promotions, etc.
“Our service is directed to companies of all fields and private people in Austria and abroad,” Dimas said.
But the company is working on adapting the concept into a consumer/prosumer product to enable GoPro camera enthusiasts to make their own 360-degree productions.
“We plan to sell it in the near future,” Dimas told TWICE. “The expected price without cameras will be $1,990 excluding tax and shipping.”
Dimas said the company is starting to explore marketing and distribution options now, and has no reseller commitments at this time.
Although the current setup was designed around GoPro’s popular action video cameras, Dimas said his company as not discussed the 360-degree gear with the camera manufacturer yet.
“I hope they will see it on the web and find it interesting enough to contact us,” he said. “We are also working now to modify our setup for other brands. I have seen other rigs for helmets, but I have never seen a helmet which is the rig itself. The idea came by doing work in the field. We didn’t want to simply put a rig on a helmet — we wanted our head to be the actual rig.”
He explained the concept is modular so that a user can opt to carry as few as three cameras at a time, positioned to capture just the angles that the user wants. Cameras can be added or subtracted as required.
The system also provides remote-control operation. Attached cameras are all mounted at precise angle alignments in order to ensure seamless final images, Dimas said.
He said the outfit itself is a head turner for passersby, who want to come up and “look at you. It’s like a magnet — people want to take a picture with or from you.”
During playback, Dimas Technologies’ 360-degree videos can be viewed on computer screens while navigating freely within the image using arrow cues and mouse clicks.
Footage collected by each camera can also be cut and stitched together into one “straight” video that is synchronized with the sound. The company said the image assembly is performed within a few seconds and without any special additional software.
The device is said to produce images delivering realistic point-of-view action video impressions of such sports as motorbike racing, skydiving, live events or city tours.