This week Google was granted a patent US 9,060,108 for a mobile phone accessory that can turn your simple camera into an omnidirectional, panaromic camera.
The accessory, which fits onto the lens of the camera, has mirrors oriented in different directions. This captures light coming from every direction onto the camera lens. So you don’t have to turn or tilt the camera to take shots from different angles. Multiple shots are taken covering almost the entire hemispherical field of view.
This is made possible by automatically rotating the mirrors using a motor. The technology also allows the user to specify directions along which pictures are to be taken. So the mirrors are moved and oriented only along the specified directions.
Now with a single click of a button, users may take multiple shots of the same subject or event and later pick the best shot.