The OmniCam developed at Fraunhofer HHI is a scalable, mirror-based multi-camera system that allows the recording of live videos in a 360° panoramic format. The newest OmniCam-model, the OmniCam-360, consists of ten 36° mirror segments. Each of these mirror segments is equipped with one HD camera. The cameras are arranged vertically in a circle and therefore interact with the cylindrically arranged mirror segments. This arrangement of the cameras around a virtual center allows the parallax-free image stitching, which can be applied to scenes in the range between 1 meter and infinite. The covered field of view is about 60°.
With a resolution of up to 10,000 x 2,000 pixels, OmniCam-360 generates videos optimal for immersive applications. Since 2014, the material generated by the OmniCam can be displayed on tablets and VR-glasses in real-time. A special software, called Real-Time Stitching Engine, which was also developed at Fraunhofer HHI makes the streaming in real-time possible.
By enlarging the camera system, the OmniCam-360 can also generate 3D-video content. The crucial difference between the 3D OmniCam and its 2D version is the number of cameras. While the 2D version is equipped with a single camera per mirror segment, the 3D version is equipped with two cameras per segment. The 3D-rig of the OmniCam-360 features ten 36° mirror segments with two cameras each. This amounts to a total of 20 micro HD cameras for 360° 3D panoramic recordings. To achieve the 3D effect the lenses of each camera pair are arranged in distances between 40mm and 70mm, whereby the lens pair distances are adjustable within this range. To achieve the optimal 3D imaging effect, the distance between each lens pair should be approximately 65 mm, which is the average eye distance. In 3D panoramic imaging, like in 2D imaging, the vertical image section is 60°. The 3D OmniCam system allows parallax-free recording of distances larger than two meters.