Spherical Cameras The Next Big Tech For Toronto Realtors?

07 Sep 2015
Spherical Cameras The Next Big Tech For Toronto Realtors?

We love new technology here at MrLOFT and are always looking for innovative ways to better position our client's properties when selling a loft.

We're strong believers in the power of good photography and videography and pride ourselves on having some of the best visual marketing in the industry. So when we heard about the new spherical camera by Toronto start-up company Bubl, we got pretty excited about the possibilities for the Toronto real estate industry.

Here's the scoop on the new Toronto camera innovation that's running circles around the competition.


Toronto's Bublcam Brings All 360 Degrees Into View



The Bublcam is a new, spherical camera that fits in your hand and captures 100% of the visible range around, above and below you with no blind spots.

The camera itself is small - about the size of a baseball - and sounds relatively easy to use with hardware, web and mobile apps for easy filming and content distribution. There's even a space for users to share content as they're learning to use their camera and want to see what's possible.

The user experience of Bublcam video on the tail-end is much like Google maps in that you can use your mouse or touch screen to move around the space. But the picture promises to be more crisp with Bublcam, when shot by skilled hands with good lighting of course. According to a recent article in the Toronto Star:

'Video captured by a Bublcam is almost overwhelming at first glance because each shot has practically the same amount of detail as a real-life moment...The four lenses grab images and lace them together for the viewer to create a realistic version of a natural environment."

Although companies like Kodak have launched similar products and Nokia has launched it's first VR camera (with a huge price tag - it's aimed at trade), Bubl is the first camera of its kind anywhere in the world to hit the consumer market. We're thrilled that it's homegrown right here in T.O. by the Bubl team who are focused on developing innovative new hardware and software technologies for sharing content.

Sean Ramsay, current CEO, has announced his move over to the position of Chief Innovation Officer to focus solely on development while they search for a new CEO to propel the company ahead of the competition. This move comes after Bubl raised $4.6M in investor funds including getting tech behemoth Samsung on board and so the future looks bright for this Toronto start-up. They're based in Liberty Village which has become a hotbed for the new media industry.


Should Toronto Realtors Adopt speherical Camera Technology?

On the one hand, existing "pivoting" image galleries and virtual tours can be dizzying to watch and difficult for prospective buyers to get a handle on the exact layout of a property or any real sense of the size of rooms. On the other hand, spherical images and video can seem distorted even when they're not - our eye reads it as distorted as it's such a new way of perceiving images. But their ability to capture every angle of a space all at once is pretty exciting.

This is phenomenal for action-based video - everything from live concerts to recording a family gathering. For still subjects such as filming a Toronto loft, then it's features aren't quite as compelling. However, where it exceeds existing camera technology is in the user experience - it allows users to control how they move around a space and zoom in on areas they want to focus on more clearly. And the cost isn't huge at less than $800 U.S. a pop considering the cost of an iPhone with a mediocre-at-best camera or a good, traditional point-and-shoot camera. Note: there's a waiting list; you can register to be notified of new product release on the Bubl website.

What's even more exciting is that this is really just a stepping stone towards virtual reality. We can't wait for the day when we can virtually place prospective buyers into a Toronto loft for sale without leaving the comfort of their home. That way, you can get a really good sense for not only what a loft looks like but how it feels spatially before booking a visit with your Realtor. Now that's forward-thinking.

What do you think? Are spherical cameras the next step in Toronto realty photography and videography or is it just a holding ground for the real game-changer of VR?


Lead image courtesy of Bubl.

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