Written by Micah Blumberg March 19th 2016 : Splash lets you make 360 photo spheres with your phone. It also lets you put little 3 second videos in it. I decided to use Splash as a journalist to record some of the places I visit with.
It’s unique from other 360 capture tools in that you have to paint your 3D sphere. So the effect reflects you in some real sense.
I took a bunch of Splashes at GDC, and also some by Micah Blumberg, Sat Mar 12 2016
I found the links in the app and copied them here. This one was Amazon.
I met up with Michael Ronen the CEO of Splash recently to talk about Splash and his hopes for the future. Michael has a background in theater, an avid interest in science fiction, future technology, artificial intelligence, and he is the CEO of a startup called Splash whose product may just well be the Virtual Reality and 360 camera app equivalent of Snapchat. His product enables people to paint 360 spherical content with a smart phone, 360 pictures with short video snippets, that can later be viewed in a Virtual Reality. I actually had the chance to see Splash’s created by myself and others in a Gear VR headset.
To use splash you have to turn in a circle with your phone, capturing what’s up, down, and in every direction. The device shown in the first picture isn’t necessary for Splash, it works with just your hands and a normal phone. It uses the phones inbuilt technology, like the gyroscope, accelerometer, and more to stitch together your photo/video sphere in real time.
I was honestly blown away by how cool the Splashes look on the Gear VR. Splash is by design a free camera app that works on iphones now and soon on android phones as well that will allow you to upload 360 content to facebook, youtube, with more social networks being added soon, so you can grab a VR viewable 360 of your vacation spot right from your phone without needed to bring special equipment with you. In a sense it is more portable because you always have your phone with you, but you might not always have your 360 camera rig with you. The content looks good on a phone after you take the picture, and there is an opportunity to see it immediately with google cardboard, but the content really shines in a better headset like the Gear VR. Even if you don’t have a Gear VR or a Google Cardboard headset you can start capturing 360 picture/videos now with Splash available now for download on itunes, its free with no limitations on use.
What I learned about Michael while walking with him in Los Angeles near Venice Beach is that he loves to experiment with technology, he was using Splash experimentally as well, creating spherical content while we walked which allow him to paint something unique that was outside the intended design of the product. He talked about how a user could paint half a sphere now, pause it, and paint the other half of the sphere later on in a different location. He showed how short 3 second videos could be added to any 360 photo sphere later on and that the video would appear on top of the photos.
The way I first learned how to use splash was to take snapshots in every direction, camera snapshots, there is an onscreen sphere, that you can shrink, that serves as a guide, to help you make sure that you are getting the whole sphere. You might think it is similar in concept to a panorama but in practice is way more than that, since when can you stitch a cool 3 second video into a panorama?
This was at lunch time.
In some of the photos I am showing of Michael he is experimenting with using a 3-axis Gimbal Stabilizer for a phone, something that works very well to enhance the smoothness of splashes, if smoothness is what you are interested in, but it is just as interesting to see the unique art that people can create by holding the phone in different ways and being very selective about how they paint their individualized splash.
I saw one splash that had a video of people playing at a piano, and in another direction a video of a cat, this was inside a house, and it was very much like the kind of abstract art you might see in Art History class, except I was viewing it in a VR headset, all around me, with sound, and video mixed into high res photos stitched in a sphere and taken on an iphone.
This was the SVVR party at GDC!
I hope you join the experiment. It’s free. It’s fun. It makes you a VR artist with the skills you already have, no need to learn code, you just do it! It’s not just a tool for making a new kind of art, it’s also a new way to tell stories as well, and to share your stories with others.
Some of these Splashes are shared on Facebook and Youtube by their creators so you can expect to start seeing them show up in your news feed or channel in the near future as your friends begin to discover Splash for themselves.
Micah Blumberg is a researcher, scientist, and entrepreneur and he can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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