360 photography is the buzzword of 2016 – this quickly evolving technology is becoming a preferred form of digital entertainment. Let’s take a closer look at the latest gadgets and sharing features

The desire to capture the panoramic view is older than the photography itself. The first panorama images date back to 18th century, when Robert Barker patented his plans for a cylindrical building that was to be erected around a large, panoramic painting. The image itself was 15 meters high and 100 meters long and it often had three-dimensional objects placed in front of the images, making it look more realistic and turning it into a unique form of spectacle.[1]

Diagram of a Rotunda A: Entrance and cash desk; B: Darkened corridor; C: Viewing platform; D: Observer’s field of view; E: Cylindrical canvas; F: Three-dimensional foreground; G: Trompe l’oeil objects painted on the canvas

These early 360 visual experiences were followed by first photographic panoramas in the middle of the 19th century, arriving to modern age and computer-based image processing techniques.

But today, to create a panoramic 360 image, all you need is a smartphone and your immersive image can be sahred on social media in a matter of seconds. Let’s take a closer look at the latest 360 photo apps and devices.

Top Apps and Devices for 360 Panoramic Photos

Immersive 360 degree scenes just few years ago could be made only with expensive gear, but today all you need is the right device or app and a bit of patience. These are some of the top apps that allow you to take amazing 360 photos:

Google’s Photo Sphere

Photo Sphere is a 360-degree panorama feature Google created originally for Nexus 4 and added in Android 4.2 and later versions, that allows creation of immersive pictures with your phone, with the final result very similar to Street View feature.

Several options are available, you can use the Street View app and a compatible spherical camera, such as RICOH THETA S or a professional NCTECH IRIS360. For a pro results you can also use a DSLR camera or even apply to borrow Google’s Trekker! If you prefer to keep it simple and free you can use the Street View app’s manual camera mode, available for both Android and iPhone.

Mont Blanc – made with Photo Sphere

Facebook 360 Photos

After 360 videos launched last September, Facebook recently announced the 360 photo feature. It works very simply: take a panorama with your phone or capture a 360-degree photo using a 360 photo app or 360 camera, and then post it on Facebook as you would a normal photo. When the 360 photo appears in your news feed, you can explore it by panning your phone, using your finger to drag the image around, or using any kind of VR gear which will give you the complete experience.

 

 

You can find all the information regarding how to use it on the official page facebook360.fb.com or visit the 360 photos community for some great examples www.facebook.com/groups/facebook360community

Start experimenting with your 360 photos now!

 

[1] http://www.graphics.com/article-old/history-panoramic-image-creation