Spherical imaging technology addresses surveillance and security concerns

SEPTEMBER 10--A spherical imaging system from iMove (Portland, OR; www.imoveinc.com) allows viewers to see in all directions at the same time.

SEPTEMBER 10--A spherical imaging system from iMove (Portland, OR; www.imoveinc.com) allows viewers to see in all directions at the same time. The new system is comprised of six lenses--actually six separate cameras packaged as a single spherical sensor-that allow viewers to see in all directions at once--forward, backward, side-to-side, up, and down. With multiple cameras capturing and integrating digital video images from each direction, iMove's spherical-imaging technology provides users with a 360° by 360° field of view from wherever the sensor is placed. "It's the visual equivalent of surround sound," says its inventor, David Ripley, a noted innovator of visual imaging systems who spent several years at both Intel and the David Sarnoff Research Center in Princeton, NJ.

Currently, applications for iMove's spherical imaging system involve security, surveillance, reconnaissance and target identification, as well as situational awareness, an increasingly important capability for governmental and commercial customers. Other uses for spherical imaging systems besides security and surveillance include exploration of deep space and outer space, navigation aids, construction-site evaluation, movie location scouting, facilities planning, training and simulation, and tourism and travel planning. "Essentially, iMove's spherical imaging technology removes the limitation of what we can see conventionally," says Roger Thomas, CEO of iMove. "Our clients and target customers are those who literally need to see beyond the horizon. They understand that for important applications, the view of their world is not flat, but spherical."

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