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New multimedia technology has allowed Destination NSW to launch Australia’s first 360 degree digital tourist web experience.

Highlights of Sydney 360 includes:

  • Australia’s first 360 video aerial tours which are fully interactive and controlled by the user
  • World-first first person 360 video technology
  • A dedicated Facebook application to share the first-person 360 videos
  • A mobile application for smartphones to view Sydney 360 panorama
  • A tablet application to view Sydney 360 panorama images using swipe and drag navigation.

Sydney 360 is available to view here

About the tech:

 Developed exclusively by Destination NSW in partnership with deGroots Media and Colebrook Pixelcase, the technology behind the 360o Sydney project includes:

  • Gyro enabled Coptercam UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle) drones carrying 360 degree cameras;
  • Use of face rendering within a 360 degree video; &
  • 360 degree video from a first person perspective

Pixelcase developed a number of prototype cameras which needed to be waterproof and lightweight. Testing the cameras included wreck scuba diving, skydiving and suspending the camera 12-metres off the side of the Eiffel Tower in Paris.

The aerial footage was filmed using a Coptercam 360 Octocopter, with gyro enabled gimbals. The mount was modified for the 360 degree camera which was mounted to a retractable undercarriage for landing and take-off. The shoot days were very windy but the size of the machine and gyros kept the camera stable to over 100 metres into the air.

To film the first person perspective footage, the talent wore a helmet mounted with a 360 degree camera. The camera was situated on the end of a carbon-fibre pole with a counterbalance behind.

Bringing the 360 degree videos into the social arena was enabled by allowing users to upload their face to the experience through a dedicated Facebook App and accessing via their Facebook photo gallery and webcam. This was enhanced by seamlessly being able to flip through the experiences in real-time.

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Ray Shaw

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Ray Shaw ray@im.com.au  has a passion for IT ever since building his first computer in 1980. He is a qualified journalist, hosted a consumer IT based radio program on ABC radio for 10 years, has developed world leading software for the events industry and is smart enough to no longer own a retail computer store!

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