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NCTech launches iSTAR instant 360º panoramic camera

Andrew Brister 2 May 2012
NCTech launches iSTAR instant 360º panoramic camera

Camera design and manufacturing company NCTech is launching what it claims is the world’s first fully automatic instant 360º panoramic camera.   Scottish-based camera design and manufacturing company NCTech is launching what it claims is the world’s first fully automatic instant 360º panoramic camera.  The iSTAR produces instant 50 megapixel high-resolution full spherical images. Fully compatible with laser scanners and corresponding software applications, it can be used to help accurately document and map buildings, enabling a 3D visualisation and interpretation. It is said to be the first 360º camera with the power to process its images internally, with no need for a computer to complete post-production processing or stitching.  Crucially, the iSTAR can be used by anyone and does not need special training or photographic skills. With zero set up time, iSTAR is small, light and robust making it easy to transport and quick to deploy. NCTech’s co-founder and co-inventor of the iSTAR, Cameron Ure comments: “In a sector where precision and accuracy are critical, the image quality of the iSTAR far exceeds that of conventional cameras, and panoramic photographs can be taken in a fraction of the time. “The development of the iSTAR is probably the worst kept secret in the business and there is already a high degree of anticipation in the market about the product’s launch with pre-orders well exceeding original estimates. We are excited to bring this new camera technology to market and looking forward to it being deployed globally.” Operated by a touch screen on top of the camera, the iSTAR® can be controlled remotely via a tablet providing a real time view, more interaction and allowing the photographer not to be in shot.  The iSTAR can also be linked live to a TV monitor or over the internet, enabling offsite control and interactivity. Invented by NCTech’s co-founders, Neil Tocher and Cameron Ure (pictured), the iSTAR is the result of two years’ research and development.   During this time the two worked closely with a number of key sectors including the military, police, architecture, engineering and heritage to ensure that the final product would meet their very specific and exacting requirements ensuring it is fit for purpose. A common issue to every focus group NCTech ran in the early stages of its research was the speed and the length of time it takes to produce a 360º image.  Traditional cameras have to be physically rotated to capture dozens of images which are then painstakingly stitched together on a PC offsite.  iSTAR is fully automatic and the image it produces is the final product.  This means no further post-production processes or stitching.  iSTAR is available in two models – Fusion and Pulsar – both of which capture the spherical environment – 360º horizontally and 280º vertically, including the zentih.  Pulsar offers extended capabilities over Fusion, including speed and time saving features to speed up productivity and provide even higher quality HDR (high dynamic range) images.  It also offers a superior user interface with live full immersive view and introduces network connectivity and fast capture for video surveillance. Fusion can be easily upgraded remotely to Pulsar.

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