With growing interest in Virtual Reality, Google Cardboard, Google Expeditions and Thinglink VR, I've been spending a bit of time exploring 360 degree pictures. I've been able to find images online that have been posted by other people. Even our local newspaper has a link called Virtual Reality where they post 360 degree video stories from USA Today. I've been really enjoying these amazing stories and views.
Theta 360 degree camera
For the past few weeks I've been trying to figure out a simple way to take 360 degree pictures of my own. I've seen the Theta 360 degree camera demoed and it works really slick, but I don't want to spend $350 for one. I asked my 16 year old son if he has ever taken a 360 degree picture and he said no, but once he looked at the examples I was exploring he went to work to find an app.
The Google Street View App for IOS or Andriod is the one he found. And it works great!! Leave it to a 16 year old to research, explore and find a solution.
When you first open the app there is a + icon in the bottom right corner.
Once you click on the + sign, you can choose to use the bottom icon which says Camera.
From there you begin lining up a white circle with an orange circle over and over again to capture a lot of photos in a circle around you. You begin with a circle around you, then you begin to take pictures in a circle above you and below you.
Watch this video to see the app in action.
Once the 360 degree image is created, it will be saved to your camera roll. From there I was able to send the image to myself via email to upload where ever I choose. And the image works great with the Thinglink VR image creator! One tip I found is that when emailing a 360 degree image it is the clearest if you send it in large size or the original size. The small size comes through quite blurry.
Click here to check out the Thinglink VR image my son and I created. Click on Play and then click and move your cursor around to see the entire 360 degree image. Click on the hot spots to get more information.