Google announces major changes to Street View to image inside millions of businesses, supported by new 360 degree camera system from NCTech
Edinburgh, UK and Prague, Czech Republic – June 2, 2015 – NCTech, the developer of reality imaging systems, today announced the launch of iris360™, a new consumer 360 degree camera system designed to speed the capture and upload of 360 degree images to Google Maps and Street View.
iris360 is a panoramic camera, remote‐controlled by a mobile phone or tablet, that quickly captures high‐resolution 360 degree images from its four sensors. With zero setup time, iris360 does not require photographic experience to operate and, with one touch, captures and delivers a huge 8K resolution, HDR panoramic image in less than two minutes. iris360 is small and lightweight, making it easy to transport and deploy, and is designed for use in both indoor and outdoor environments.
The development of iris360 enables panoramic images to be more quickly and easily published on Google Maps and Street View apps. iris360 is fully integrated to allow users to control the camera and upload panoramic photos directly from the Google Maps and Street View apps.
Currently, businesses that want 360 degree panoramic images for their Google profiles have to arrange photoshoots with photographers who use standard cameras to take pictures in a circle and use complex software to merge them. Given the need to process these images off–site with desktop software, the traditional sales process can take days.
The simplicity of use provided by iris360, with all image processing being conducted on‐board, makes it possible for anyone to publish to Street View and they can work towards becoming accepted as a trusted Photographer. Using iris360, the process is fast, automatic and can be on Street View in minutes. This speed of capture means that one iris360 owner could conceivably shoot and upload a full street’s worth of business interiors in a single day.
“The high resolution and speed of the iris360 camera was a perfect fit for our Street View launch,” said Charles Armstrong, Product Manager for the Google Street View apps and Trusted program. “NCTech has taken an important step in helping others record and explore our world with high fidelity, 360 degree imagery.”
NCTech is the company behind the industrial‐grade iSTAR 360 degree camera system, which is widely used in commercial, engineering, military and government departments.
“We are pleased to introduce iris360, a product that we are confident will help photographers and their business clients quickly and easily add any shop, bar or restaurant to Street View,” said Neil Tocher, CTO, NCTech. “Earlier this year we conducted live trials across europe with our cameras, showing businesses what they can do, and the response showed us that the market is very real. In just three months, with three cameras and three photographers, more than 2,000 business images were captured, purchased and uploaded into Google Views.”
“Our pedigree in producing 360 degree imaging systems for industrial use was the perfect starting point from which to build a prosumer‐grade product like iris360 and we have enjoyed working with Google to address this challenge,” said Cameron Ure, CEO, NCTech.
iris360 is currently available for pre‐order from nctechimaging.com at $1,999 (exclusive of taxes and shipping).
The product is expected to start shipping in August 2015.
NCTech and Google introduced iris360 at the IVRPA 360° Virtual Reality Panoramic Photography & Video Conference in Prague this week.