Panoramic photography is a well-known technique, used by photographers who want to take pictures with a huge field of view. The maximum field of view is represented by a sphere. There are a lot of pc-based (and phone-based also) software that allows the user to load single images and combine them in a static panoramic view: in Figure 1 you can see three circular fisheye images combined into an equirectangular view, covering a field of view of 360°x180°. Furthermore does exist software that allow us navigate in a spherical panorama just moving the mouse over the image (let’s think about Google Streetview for example). There even are also very few software that allows us to create and navigate full spherical videos.
So where’s my idea? Well, up to now no one has built a system to stream "LIVE spherical videos."
The system should consist of a server which elaborate the images coming from a special multi-lens camera and combine them in a single frame stored in a video buffer. The video is then streamed over the internet as usual. Every single user can access the "spherical video" with an application that allows to navigate it (see Figure 2).
So you can have a single video streamed... but so much point of view as the users connected!
Another improvement could be achieved using two coupled systems to get a "stereoscopic panoramic live streaming".
This new kind of "panoramic live streaming" could be applied in several fields, for example:
-security, surveillance and military (no more blind spots!)
-telepresence and remote assistance (here we can apply the stereoscopic enhancement)
-live events (concerts, theatre, sports…)