Everybody wants in on the action camera game which is dominated by GoPro. Many try and many fail. But a new action camera called the 360Fly may prove to be GoPro’s biggest challenge yet. The tennis ball sized and shaped device shoots 360 degree videos which you can watch and manipulate on the fly – but it’s also got some amazing software inside that could prove invaluable for motorcycle riders.
The device is backed by Peter Adderton, the founder of the prepaid wireless network Boost Mobile (which he has since sold) so this is no small independent outfit. It was reported that 360Fly paid Australian motocross and supercross racer Chad Reed $500,000 to use their camera for publicity.
The camera features a single lens that looks in all directions – it captures 360 degrees of horizontal footage and 240 degrees vertically at a resolution of 1,504 x 1,504 at 30 fps. Looking at the videos, they’re obviously highly impressive in that you can playback the recordings and rotate the view as you wish, but video quality is subpar in comparison to current normal action cameras.
That said, the device will cost only $399 at launch which considering the technology is fairly impressive. The company is reportedly already working on second and third generation models to vastly improve image quality, resolution and frame rate. But it’s the safety applications that are interesting.
In an interview with Mashable, Adderton stated that “We’re working with some of the helmet manufacturers to literally have you riding down the road and the camera is gonna literally look at a red light. It will look at the green light and it will look at the cars coming on the right hand side and it will quickly determine that car’s not slowing down — we should give you a warning.”
That’s just one example and the possibilities for this are almost endless. In fact, just from the point of view of riders having evidence of their innocence in vehicle accidents the 360Fly could prove invaluable. For a rider to truly cover themselves they would have to have an action camera pointed forwards, backwards and to both sides. But the 360Fly covers everything all at once – as long as you’re okay with wearing a black sphere on your head.
The 360Fly will hit stores in August and can be preorderd now on their website.