School Safety Summit announced today that a new panoramic 3D motion picture camera rig developed at MIT under 2 NASA contracts, and capable of producing stereoscopic 3D cinema spectacles that completely surround the audience, will be tested by Colorado education leaders and community partners to visualize the schools of tomorrow.
The Summit’s 3D Task Force invites filmmakers and 3DTV producers worldwide to join the experiment and develop scriptwriting and directing approaches that take full advantage of the 360-degree stereo 3D experience made possible by the new system.
Participating industry leaders will have a first look to evaluate applications in theatrical and home entertainment, special events, education, and enterprises that would benefit from omnidirectional robotic vision and depth perception as well as an unprecedented level of image and sound processing.
The stereoscopic imaging system, invented by Eric Prechtl, Ray Sedwick and Eric Jonas, synchronizes a large number of cameras to generate a high resolution, wide field of view image database from which images can be combined in real time.
New image blending techniques take image data that is transmitted wirelessly and provide an extended panoramic view in which the combined images form a full circle or cyclorama. Images can also be combined so that the cycloramic view extends upwardly or downwardly to create a continuous, unobstructed, omnidirectional image that extends a full 4 pi steradians.
A user can be embedded into a scene to achieve a feeling of actually being on site. The user can scan around the scene or zoom in and out. Multiple users can access the data simultaneously and can independently look in different directions if desired.
According to the inventors, who are working directly with the 3D Task Force, an obvious application for NASA is the control of robots on planetary surfaces to collect samples or build permanent structures. The system offers enhanced communication between astronauts and ground personnel and shuttle monitoring on lift-off. The system would also allow astronauts in space the ability to exercise or relax in realistic simulations of Earth environments.
Non-NASA applications are numerous. For schools, the system can be used to create intense crisis simulations to train school safety teams. The system can also be used to control firefighting drones, or allow the ability to quickly and realistically monitor a school building or campus. Other applications include event filming, and dramas that place the audience at the center of the story — content areas to be formally explored by the 3D Task Force.
Interested parties may sign up at www.3DTaskForce.org for an orientation kit and schedule.