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EETE JULAUG 2015

StreetView gets indoors By Julien happich At the IVRPA 360° Virtual Reality Panoramic Photography & Video Conference held in Prague last month, Scottish company NCTech and Google introduced iris360, a prosumer panoramic still camera aimed to ease the professional integration of Street View-like indoor panoramics within Google maps and Street Views. Measuring 110x110x140mm, the four sensor remote-controlled camera (via a smartphone or tablet) captures 8K resolution, HDR panoramic images (360°x275° +/- 5°), fully stitched and ready to be for shared on Google, Facebook or any other social media platform or website, within less than two minutes. To achieve this, the WiFienabled camera module integrates a GPS for the coordinates, tilt and roll, and compass sensors for orientation and image level compensation together with a GPU that performs for all the necessary image processing on-board. For the best results, the iris360 calculates the distances to object across the entire scene around the camera and uses these calculations to determine how to best process each image and execute the spherical stitching. Relying on the company’s proprietary 3D modelling, the GPU also performs parallax correction between the lenses to improve stitching quality. Available for pre-orders at USD 1,999, NCTech’s selling argument, on top of the still image quality, is that anyone could now shoot and upload a full street’s worth of business interiors in a single day. But aren’t there already a plethora of cheap 360º cameras around to do the job? Of course, you could use alternative solutions, admits Cameron Ure, NCTech’s co-founder and CEO, but the images are not of the same professional-grade quality, he argues. Today, getting high quality 360º still shots would normally require a photographer to take several pictures high-resolution pictures in a circle and use complex software to merge them. This post-processing on off–site desktop software can take days. What’s more, iris360 is fully integrated to allow users to control the camera and upload panoramic photos directly from the Google Maps and Street View apps, making it easier and faster for businesses to show up with virtual indoor tours on Google search results. NCTech sells the cameras and Google signs the advertising deals. People’s faces blurring for privacy still has to be performed manually and approved according to Google’s guidelines before publishing the shots online. But the Google-approved camera is having some success, with more than 2,000 business images already captured, purchased and uploaded into Google Views within three months of trial (using only three cameras), according to NCTech’s co-founder and CTO Neil Tocher. Although it didn’t want to share more details about its product roadmap, the company is also closely watching the 360º video camera market. “We know how to do high resolution 360º video recordings, in fact, we have other products that can record up to 25 images per second, but it’s a different animal”, told us Tocher. DLP LightCrafter development system for 1080p pico displays Texas Instruments’ Display 4710 evaluation module and supporting ecosystem comprise an evaluation module, optical modules and reference designs to help developers quickly incorporate bright, efficient full-HD projection in compact electronics. The evaluation module (EVM) is a developer tool that allows quick assessment of the DLP Pico 0.47-in. TRP Full-HD 1080p display chipset. Example applications include digital signage, mobile projectors (battery and AC-powered), screenless TVs, control panels, interactive displays, and wearables such as headmounted displays (HMD). Texas Instruments www.ti.com HD audio CODEC targets tablets Conexant Systems’ CX8200 HD Audio CODEC is aimed at mobile PC applications including notebooks, ultrabooks and tablets, intelligently driving speakers to optimize sound pressure level (SPL) while providing speaker protection and eliminating background noise. Part of the AudioSmart 2.0 product family, the CX8200 features a fully integrated Class-D smart amplifier and interfaces directly with Conexant’s software to deliver flawless speech recognition and audio output that is up to several times louder using existing PC/tablet speakers. The CX8200 uses a proprietary “SoftAware” link to interconnect amplifier hardware sensors with software algorithms. Conexant Systems www.conexant.com www.electronics-eetimes.com Electronic Engineering Times Europe July-August 2015 29


EETE JULAUG 2015
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