This example video was shot with EyeSee360s GoPano optic. Drag your mouse or use your arrow keys to go 360 in the scene. Use +/- or scroll button to zoom in.
Team members, clockwise from top left: Brad Simon, Chang Glasgow, Kousalya Valluripalli, Amey Kanade, Zari Salimnejad, Susan Ditmore, Mike Rondinelli.
GoPano micro prototype
Imagine watching your favorite TV show immersed in the scene and able to see all around you.
It's not very far out of reach.
A group of Carnegie Mellon University alumni who formed the start-up company EyeSee360 are working to bring 360 video technology to your living room – and your iPhone.
Amey Kanade (HNZ'09), product manager at EyeSee360, says the company is a great place to work.
"We have a typical 'startup' kind of atmosphere. The challenges, opportunities, growth and learning are enormous, ones which you don't get so often and so early in other companies," he said.
With only nine employees, everyone has to wear multiple hats.
"One day you might be in charge of the marketing," he said. "Other days, you could find yourself buried deep in the code, out in the field shooting 360 content with clients, or designing something revolutionary."
"The group's 360 lens for video capture on the iPhone – the GoPano micro – is slated to be on the market early this summer.
The GoPano micro simply snaps onto an iPhone4, allowing anybody to record 360 videos instantly.
"This is our first step to bring panoramic video to the masses and make it more accessible," said Kanade. "We are planning to keep the price for the GoPano micro below $80. I've heard from customers who plan to buy the iPhone 4 just so to use the GoPano."
Kanade says the supporters on KickStarter will be among the first to get a chance to buy the product.
Most recently, the team delivered a custom project for one of the top gaming companies in the country for their next-generation gaming technology.
Last year, they delivered a project for 360 video platform for "teacher evaluation" sponsored by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
"This technology is really fascinating to me, and I feel it has great potential in so many ways," said Michael Rondinelli.
Rondinelli is the company's chief technology officer and a 2001 graduate of CMU's School of Computer Science.
Take television, for example. What color was to black and white, or what sound was to silent movies, Kanade says their 360 video technology can be to today's television.
"Journalists could report the news in 360," he added.
Other areas of potential include media and broadcasting, gaming, sporting events, 360 teleconferencing, 360 surveillance and security.
EyeSee360's product lineup has something for everybody – from a casual consumer to a professional videographer.
Rondinelli enjoyed and appreciated the interdisciplinary environment at CMU.
"Having such a breadth of talent in so many different disciplines in one place is amazing," he said.
"CMU is one on the few places where world-class engineers and artists can work together to make something totally new."