I can see you at five o'clock
A group of French researchers have developed a camera that captures video in 360 degrees using "catadioptrics," a system of lenses and curved mirrors. By mounting it atop a helmet, then hacking it into a pair of Sony video goggles, they've created what they're calling FlyViz: A somewhat kooky-looking rig users can wear to provide them with a realtime, wraparound view.
In the video below, one of the researchers explains the project--alas, in French, with no English subtitles. (My French is rusty, but it seems obvious he's discussing the applications for cage fighting matches, where combatants wearing the device would be required to fend off multiple attackers coming from all directions.) You also get a look at what the user actually sees through the goggles:
Those of us who only speak English will have to make do with the abbreviated English-subtitled video below:
The project's official page doesn't make any mention of cage fighters or the other obvious user group, the shadow assassins known as ninjas. Instead they suggest the FlyViz could be usefully applied for police, firefighters, and the entertainment field.
There's got to be tons of other applications. Your thoughts?