As Harvard's National Lampoon is to comedy writing, perhaps Apple will become to product start-ups. Following ex-iDevice team leader Tony Fadell's Nest Thermostat, now another ex-Mac man, Bill Banta, is leading a young start-up called CENTR Camera. Banta--the man once in charge of getting the cameras into iDevices and MacBooks—is now devoting his efforts into getting CENTR's 360-degree camera off the ground.
With an industrial design team including Joey Roth, CENTR is hoping to launch their dimunitive, puck-like device that isn't much bigger than a GoPro yet records video from all four directions at once. CENTR's software then stitches the footage into a seamless panorama, which can be interacted with during playback, as if you're choosing which way to spin in a tank turret (click here for a demo). The device has been some three years in the making, and CENTR is turning to Kickstarter for the funding, seeking a relatively modest $900,000:
At press time they were already past the quarter-million-dollars mark and climbing. Offering the sizeable discount of $100 off of the MSRP is a pretty good incentive; though it will retail for $399, Kickstarter pledgers are getting in for $299 a pop.