Virtual reality cameras cost hundreds — or thousands — of dollars. But Shot, a startup based in Spain, hopes to bring the price down to under $100 with a new Kickstarter campaign by combining fisheye lenses and some clever software.
The way it works is that you clip the lenses to an iPhone 6. One of the fisheye lenses goes over the front-facing camera, and the other goes over the rear-facing camera.
To create a 360-degree panorama photographs, both the front and rear cameras take photographs, which are then stitched together.
Videos are filmed in 235 degrees, since the iPhone can’t shoot video with both cameras at once.
Watch a video about the project below.
One day in, the project is already a tenth of the way to its $100,000 goal.
There are several fisheye lenses for the iPhone already available on Amazon, starting at less than $3.
Olloclip is highly regarded, and costs around $100, but seems to be used primarily for still photography.
It’s in the same price range as Pixeet, which offers a lens-and-app combo that lets users shoot 360-degree and 180-degree panoramic photos. It sells its lens for $90, and the app itself is free. The company is targeting real estate agents. Competitor Vieweet offers a similar product on a subscription basis.
Given the wide range of fisheye lenses already on the market, it’s entirely possible that app developers will come up with ways to use them to shoot virtual reality videos — a topic already being discussed on Reddit. Which means that someone is probably already working on an app.
And if they’re not, the Shot Kickstarter might motivate them to get cracking.