Camera crew recording interview at snowpark

The future of high definition TV

Innovative 360-degree live streaming is already being put to use successfully for events, television programs, concerts and at trade exhibitions and sports events.

Live streaming with 360° views

A party was held in the snow-covered Alps in the Allgäu region of Germany. More than 800 snowboarders, including ­Europe’s elite, traveled to Nesselwang last January to attend the grand opening of Red Bull’s new Street Snowpark. And even those who couldn’t be there were able to enjoy the entire program as if they were right in the middle of it. Special mirror camera constructions on three stations provided more than twelve hours of full HD video recordings in a 360-degree panorama view. What was special about this was that these transmissions were broadcast live and could be viewed online via streaming. Everyone who downloaded the special app was able to experience the happenings at the winter sports park through their iPhones or iPads and then using their index fingers was able to select the camera stations or control the direction of view.

A vision begins to come to life with this new development for Michael Kanna. ”Sometime in the future, we will wear virtual eyeglasses and experience the world from a 360-degree perspective,” the Managing Director of Videostream 360 is convinced. The young team of the German company based in Leipzig has written a success story on the way to achieving this. It all began at the Leipzig College of Technology, Business and Culture (HTWK). In 2009, as part of his Master’s thesis in Media Information Technology, one of the company’s founders developed the principles for a method of equalizing the circular 360-degree moving pictures that were obtained using specially shaped panorama mirrors. In the years that followed, this finally became Videostream 360 – a company and a patented technology on real-time transmission of 360-degree ­video streams. This technology had previously not been possible because it required costly multi-lens cameras, whose images then needed to be tediously converted into rectangular pictures. ”The Patent Information Center in Leipzig informed us that a system like ours did not yet exist anywhere in the world,” Michael Kanna notes.
Michael Kanna, Managing Director of Videostream 360

Photo: Christian Hueller Fotografie

Large panorama mirror, part of a 360 camera

The panorama mirror delivers 360-degree moving images that are recorded by a camera

Michael Kanna, Managing Director of Videostream 360
Sometime in the future, we will wear virtual eye-glasses and experience the world from a 360-degree perspective.

Chance encounter leads to success

Nevertheless, there were still obstacles to be overcome. The goblet-shaped concave mirror attachment together with an HD TV camera, for example, initially resulted in a very large, unattractive and rather error-prone construction. However, the presentation of this bulky innovation at the Hanover Fair met with completely unexpected success. An excited trade fair visitor and former trainee at SCHOTT suggested miniaturizing the structure and protecting it in a special anti-reflective glass tube. ”That was one of the keys to commercializing the product,” Michael Kanna emphasizes.

SCHOTT supplied DURAN® glass tubes in standard dimensions for this project. This stable borosilicate glass is highly resistant to heat, shifts in temperature and corrosion. It especially protects the camera lens and the extremely sensitive mirrors that supply the image information from scratches and environmental effects. An innovative ETCAR (Easy to Clean Anti Reflex) coating has been applied to the glass tubes to minimize annoying light reflections and soiling.

The future of live transmission

In combination with a professional digital action mini-camera, the new construction is now enjoying success for indoor and outdoor use – in the German scientific TV program ”Galileo,” for example, and also at concerts, sports events and at trade exhibitions such as CeBIT 2015. The main appeal of this technology also lies in the fact that its interactive video player is easy to operate and can be embedded in websites and used as a mobile app. ”We consider 360-degree live streaming to be the future standard for all types of live transmissions, but that isn’t all. We are also planning projects in the area of process monitoring and smart homes,” Michael Kanna concludes.

DURAN® is a registered trademark of the DWK Life Sciences GmbH.

Used materials & similar products

DURAN® borosilicate glass is one of the oldest and most versatile materials in the SCHOTT portfolio. Invented by Otto Schott in 1897, its high optical quality, tight geometrical tolerances, strong chemical and heat resistance, and ability to be processed in a vast range of dimensions means it has a key role in laboratory glassware, as well as a large number of industrial and architectural applications.

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