360 degree video for next-to-nothing

[Luis], a regular Hackaday reader, sent in some info about his 360 degree video experiments. He wanted a cheap device to use with a video camera, producing video that can be displayed using a free Flash software library.

The hardware consists of a mirrored light bulb, a square of glass, and some threaded rod. The camera lens attaches to the glass with the rod right in the middle. The lens will capture a donut image reflected in the mirror of the bulb. [Luis] then processes the result and uses Ryubin’s Flash Panorama to handle playback. He’s posted two clips as examples, the first of an “Existentialist Suburb Walker” and the second is some test footage while setting up for a shot. You can click-and-rotate the video while it’s playing to look around the area.

This could produce some great driving videos, without the need for multiple cameras. [Luis] does point out some problems with oscillation as the mirror on the end of a rod will amplify the effect of movement on the image.