(There's no screengrabs or images here for a reason. Read on.)
David McCutchen was a film industry special effects guy, and he wanted a camera that could record 360 degrees. When he couldn't find one, he designed and developed his own rig. And for the record, this was wayyy before The Matrix--we're talking 1989.
After being granted his patent in 1991, McCutchen built a company around the technology three years later:
Since 1994, Immersive Media has been the world leader in 360Â°, full motion, interactive videos. The DodecaÂ® 2360 camera system, Immersive Media's flagship product, is currently in fourth-generation hardware. The company maintains ongoing development of new camera and software platforms, with a patent portfolio covering key discoveries and capabilities of interactive and immersive video.
To see what they're capable of, click this link. We don't want to spoil the surprise of what the video is, but make sure your speakers are on and be a little patient.
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