Throw It High

Panoramic Prictures - a very simple way

The Throwable Panoramic Camera Photo: Panono GmbH

In principle, a video is responsible for everything and the three million people that have watched it. There were two million clicks in one week in October 2011. Even for a video clip platform like YouTube, this does not happen every day. Then, there were these 2,000 email messages as well. Most of them contained the message, “We want this thing and we want it now”. “We didn’t do anything except responding to emails for a month, in some cases in the original language”, remembers Jonas Pfeil. The response was always the same, regardless of the language, “No one can buy this thing”.  In general, the 29-year-old said, “We really didn’t want to establish a company”.

This thing that caused so much excitement is the so-called “Panoramawurfkamera” [Throwable Panoramic Ball Camera], currently still neon green and the size of a handball. However, if everything goes according to plan, the camera will soon be the size of a grapefruit[]. Regardless of the size, the camera is a discovery that never existed before, because it can make full-spherical panorama pictures. It only needs to be thrown upwards [] and does not need to be caught. “You simply let it fall to the ground”, says Jonas Pfeil. The camera is very easy to use, which is its beauty.

An accelerometer automatically determines when the camera reaches the highest point of the flight. Thirty-six little cameras, with two mega-pixels resolution each, will then record a panorama picture, top, bottom, right and left, no problem. All 36 cameras are connected to each other and centrally controlled. The pictures can then be transferred using a USB cable or wireless. What makes this camera unique is its ability to capture scenes that contain moving objects like cars or people. This has not been possible before, because overlapping of the individual pictures was a problem. [] The photographer had to turn slowly in a circle and shoot roughly 50 pictures, so that the panorama would be complete. Nothing should change during the shoot. Now, one throw captures everything.

In the meantime, Jonas Pfeil, Björn Bollensdorff and Qian Qin actually have established a company. This occurred on October 4th, after a year of planning. The three young entrepreneurs met while they were studying computer engineering at Technische Universität of Berlin. Establishing their own company, “this wasn’t a life goal for us, as it is for so many others”, Jonas Pfeil says soberly. However, the Manager of the TU Startup Service, Agnes von Matuschka, would not let it go. Now, the three are sitting in one of the Startup Service’s small offices in the Old Mineralogy building. They have already registered an international patent on their discovery and have just received support through the Exist scholarship for business startups. In general, the three feel quite good as company founders.

Stefanie Paul
Kluge Köpfe 2012