Around this time of year, technology showcase producer Pepcom pulls together events stuffed with companies offering new gadgets to consumers for the holidays. A smattering of the offerings, however, turn up looking like they could give a jaded DP some fun ideas. Another app looks useful for all of us smartphone users who want to minimize the gear we need to carry around. Here’s some of what we saw last night that caught our fancy.
This small chunk of an action cam is Kodak’s Pixpro SP360, which turns out HD video (albeit with a smallish 1/2.3-inch sensor). You have four options for recording – front, 360-degree panorama, round and dome. Set to price under $500, this surprisingly heavy unit comes with a water-proof housing and works with GoPro rigging gear. Like our other panorama-capable camcorder (coming up next), the SP360 could be useful to document what happens on the production stage or to provide a quick, rough background for 3D animation.
The V.360 from VSN Mobil offers 360 degree (1080 x 6480) HD capture, this time via a camera facing the unit’s parabolic mirror. Also set to price under $500 when it releases later this fall, the V.360 is controllable via a free smartphone app (Android/iOS). The device handles its own realtime processing via a Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor enabling capture, image de-wrapping, and encoding to the 360 degree image. No word yet if it could do duty as a DIY Google Street Cam.
Working in “stealth mode for over two years” with thermal imaging specialists from companies including defense contractor Raytheon, Seek Thermal delivers an intriguing bit of gear with a rather mundane name. The Seek Thermal camera is a tiny, inexpensive ($199) smartphone plug-in (Android/iOS) that allows you to track down everything from pipe leaks, heat loss, and your errant pooch in the shrubbery. Or use it for that new music video.
Parallels updates Parallels Access, which debuted last year, with a lower price ($19.99) and more features for Android and iOS users alike. The smartphone and iPad/Android tablet app allows you to access your Windows or Apple computers from anywhere you have a WiFi link. You can do more than just access them, of course: launch an app on your home machine, even if the device you happen to be using can’t pull it off itself (e.g. launch a Windows Excel or Mac Photoshop file, edit, and save it from your iPad).