Neil Tocher, CTO at Edinburgh, Scotland-based NCTech, reality imaging systems developer, spoke with GISCafe Voice about NCTech’s recent demonstration of a new 360-degree camera designed to be mounted on any vehicle in order to capture and generate virtual street-level imagery.
NCTech Street View camera on vehicle
Google is set to trial the new camera for Street View capture in three countries (not currently announced). Details of the new product were presented at the recent Google Street View Summit 2017 in Tokyo.
According to company materials, with a 360 x 300 degree field of view, the new camera captures data at five frames per second to produce 60 megapixel spherical images. The Street View auto ready camera is designed to collect data from any moving vehicle for Google’s Street View platform and other platforms. The new camera will be available in Q4 2017.
Close view of the NCTech VRC
Google wants to increase the volume and frequency of data uploaded to Street View and NCTech’s new camera combines futuristic tech and accessible design with low cost, to help achieve that goal. NCTech’s ultimate goal is to increase the 10 million miles per year currently available online to one billion miles per year.
The new camera utilizes Intel technology and will be the first to adopt NCTech’s Intelligent Capture System, a cloud-based system that talks to each camera, ensuring that the data collected is unique and manages disk space on the camera.
NCTech Street View camera at sunset
“With this product, we’re making use of the very latest Intel Apollo Lake processor technology.” said Tocher. “Intel have worked very closely with us to ensure the product realizes all the potential benefits provided by this new chipset for ultrafast street-level virtualization.”
NCTech also announced a second new Street View compatible product, the VRC (Virtual Reality Camera). The new low-cost consumer camera will provide 3D virtualization of interior places, capturing 360-degree images and depth, allowing viewers to explore in full immersive virtual reality.
“The VRC is the first affordable consumer Virtual Reality Camera. It will help democratize virtual reality by making the capture of user generated 3D VR content easy and abundant,” said Tocher. “The VRC’s Street View API compatibility now enables anyone to be able to share their virtualized places on Street View.”