360 degree lenses are one of those things that are just pure concentrated awesome. They’re exactly what they sound like: a lens designed to give you a complete wraparound view of whatever the camera happens to be shooting. It’s incredibly neat to see, and lots of fun to shoot, but 360 degree shooting has been largely limited to expensive extreme sports rigs and other specialized applications.
Until it hits the iPhone later this year.
The lens comes to us courtesy of GoPano, one of the leaders in 360 video technology. GoPano has developed a lens and software combination for the iPhone that records 360 degree video and, naturally, lets you flick around the video with the touch of a finger. In addition, GoPano is developing web software to make 360 degree video available online, so you can upload your videos and actually scroll through them.
So far, only the iPhone 4 is supported, mostly because GoPano wasn’t sure if this was going to catch on and funded the project through Kickstarter. However, considering they’ve gotten $31,000 so far and their goal was $20,000, it’s fairly safe to say that GoPano will be looking into developing this for other platforms in fairly short order. Check out video at the above link, and reserve a lens there as well.