Virtual Tours Google Style

Great googley moogley I thought to myself the first time I saw the virtual tour camera in the article below. Leave it up to Google to get into virtual tours and utilize a $100,000.00 virtual tour camera! I recommend that everyone read the article below as it gives great insight to what we are all a part of and where this journey is taking us.

Each and every person involved in Real Tour Vision as a Full Service provider or an In-House provider is a part one of the biggest movements ever as we continue to make our entire world a virtual place to be explored and documented. While Google is using this for street mapping, Real Tour Vision virtual tour providers are able to take it one step further as they go inside of the homes, shops, malls, hotels, restaurants, and corner stores. It is truly great to see virtual tour technology and the benefits that go along with it become the status quo.

I remember years ago walking around in an online environment and the computer printed on the screen (Yes, in white letters only on a black background!) what was around you. The graphics were then left up to your imagination. Alas here we are 15 years later and on the brink of being able to go anywhere in the world with just a click of our mouse. It is great having so many members on the Real Tour Vision team all marching together as one in this movement. Thank you and enjoy the article.

Getting Google’s Street Views
Immersive Media is the Canadian outfit behind Google Maps’ new 360-degree images. What will its unusual cameras shoot next?

by Douglas MacMillan

Full Article is here

Maybe you’ve seen one cruising the streets in your city: A platinum gray Volkswagen Beetle with a camera that looks like a small disco ball fixed to the roof. They’ve been driving the streets in major cities across the country, snapping some 125 million images to be digitally woven into 360-degree views of everything from New York’s South Street Seaport to San Francisco’s Haight-Ashbury neighborhood.

The fleet of VW (VOWG) Beetles is the brainchild of David McCutchen, a 56-year-old entrepreneur who has been trying to make the Web three-dimensional. He’s the co-founder and chief technology officer of Calgary (Alta.)-based Immersive Media (IMSVF), a company that may have a good shot at doing just that. For example, Street View, the popular new feature on Google (GOOG) Maps, is made possible through an exclusive license with Immersive.
When 10 Lenses Just Aren’t Enough

Welcome to the world of immersive imaging, a nascent technology still being perfected by a handful of patent-holders. Immersive Media is one of the pioneers in the field—it began developing digital 360-degree still images and videos in 1994. The technology is used in security and real estate applications, but may be ready for more extensive consumer tasks.

Immersive Media’s secret weapon is an 11-lens camera, called a Dodeca 2360. It takes 11 simultaneous video or still shots, which are seamlessly stitched together by a software program so that viewers can shift continuously from one perspective to the next. “There have been a lot of people trying to do this since the camera was invented, whether [with] a fish-eye lens or with a dozen cameras strapped together,” says Immersive Chief Executive Myles McGovern.

Immersive manufactures the Dodeca and holds numerous patents on the device. What makes it unique is its dodecahedron (12-sided) shape, which captures images consistently in every direction. Anyone can buy one for around $100,000, but only a handful have been sold—mostly to government agencies.