360fly video camera

Imagine biking through Pittsburgh’s Point and being able to photograph not only the fountain, but Mount Washington, Heinz Field and Point State Park simultaneously as you peddle. Launching this spring, the 360fly panoramic video camera will allow video enthusiasts to capture that and so much more.

The Green Tree-based company with the same name announced at last week’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas that it is officially taking pre-orders for its rugged lightweight (138 grams) single lens action camera. Men’s Journal magazine declared it one of the top 18 products at CES.

The technology, based on research and patents spun out of Carnegie Mellon University’s Robotics Institute, has the potential to change the way we record or watch a video, explains Amey Kanade, marketing director for 360fly.

“You are not capturing video at one angle, but you are capturing everything around you,” he says. The 360fly also provides a 240-degree view over the camera.

“The most common reaction we‘ve seen is it’s much smaller (than expected),” he says.

Smaller than a tennis ball, the water, dust and shock resistant camera can be mounted atop a helmet or surfboard. It can capture that ride on the Thunderbolt while also filming the line length at the Potato Patch and water skiers on the Mon.

Swipe the video – loaded onto your phone or tablet with the included app – and you can view the different angles.

Nationally known top BMX athlete Terry Adams tested the camera for 360fly. “I’m always filming my newest tricks and trying to catch them on video. What was so great about using the 360fly camera was no matter where I placed the camera, it was able to capture the angle I was looking for,” Adams says, adding that he didn’t have to worry about going out of frame.

“The quality is amazing and it’s almost unbelievable the first time you use it. I see the 360fly camera being the future for capturing all extreme sports moments,” he adds.

With the company’s new 360fly.com video hosting and sharing service, extreme shutterbugs can give their friends the experience of being there, kind of like telling a story in first person with pictures that are telling thousands of words.

“We built an ecosystem of hosting, editing and sharing videos for web, iOS and Android platforms,” says Kanade.

The package, selling for $499, includes a helmet and flat mount. The company is also launching eight additional mounts, including a tripod and suction cup mount, increasing the types of compatible surface areas.

The 360fly has grabbed attention from potential users, notes Kanade, although the company is not yet making an announcement of the number of preorders thus far. 360fly has partnered with top distributor Voxx International, and the camera will be available in the top five (unnamed) electronic big box retailers.

Laurie Bailey is a freelance writer who has reported for many local publications. When she isn't writing she serves as a media consultant for nonprofits and other local companies.