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Google has recently announced a certification program for a new line of ‘Google Street View ready’ 360-degree cameras. The company revealed that 20 certified cameras launching this year would make it easier for users to capture and upload Street View imagery. The certification program covers four categories of 360-degree cameras:

  • Street View mobile ready cameras can upload photos to Street View through a mobile app
  • Auto-ready cameras are designed for cars
  • VR-ready devices capture geometry for VR content
  • Workflow-ready cameras feature tools for publishing to Street View accounts

Upcoming cameras from 18 manufacturers have been certified under the program so far, including cameras from Samsung, GoPro, and Matterport.

“Whether you’re sharing your experience at a local market or on your recent vacation, publishing high-quality, interactive imagery no longer requires significant time and effort—all you have to do is get one of the cameras, download the Street View app and start creating,” said Charles Armstrong, Street View Product Manager at Google.

Speaking of 360-cameras, NCTech, the developer of reality imaging systems, has come up with a new one designed to be mounted on any vehicle in order to capture and generate virtual street-level imagery. Google is gearing up to try the new camera for Street View capture in three countries.

NCTech StreetView camera
NCTech StreetView camera at sunset

With a 360 x 300 degree field of view, the new camera captures data at five frames per second to produce 60 megapixel spherical images. The new camera will be available in Q4 2017. The new camera uses Intel technology and will be the first to adopt NCTech’s Intelligent Capture System, a cloud-based system that talks to each camera, ensuring that the data collected is unique, and also manages disk space on the camera.

“We are keen to explore technologies that can help increase the volume and frequency of data uploaded to Street View,” said Charles. “NCTech is a truly pioneering company – they continue to set the bar in spatial reconstruction by blending futuristic tech with accessible design and price points, and we look forward to seeing the results of our pilot with their new camera,” he added.

“We’re delighted that Google will pilot our new camera in support of its Street View offering,” said Cameron Ure, CEO, NCTech. “With this new camera, we aim to enable a further wave of expansion in digitising the planet with the goal of increasing the 10 million miles per year currently available online, to one billion miles per year.”