At the CES2016 consumer electronics trade show, YEZZ showed off its latest camera phone; the YEZZ Sfera. Set to have a USA exclusive launch date of April 30th, the YEZZ Sfera’s success or failure may determine whether we see 360 degree camera phones launched in the UK.
We are already familiar with forward and rear-facing cameras on smartphones but the YEZZ Sfera takes it to the next level by implanting HD fish eye cameras on both the front and back. The protruding dome-shaped lenses enable the camera to capture 360 degree images or video, both horizontally and vertically.
As with a traditional camera phone, the display works as a viewfinder, but because of the extended 360 degree shooting field, the viewfinder works in a choice of three modes:
Once images and video are captured they can be seen using the Touch Play feature. This enables the viewer to move horizontally and vertically through the images with control over zooming, with the luxury of no blind spots.
The alternative viewing mode is VR Play and this works with Google Cardboard to allow the viewer to immerse themselves in a 360-degree virtual reality experience. The results can be shared in a single touch with Skype, email, Instagram or Facebook.
It is also possible to share the results with other 360 degree imaging apps likes Google Street View and this means that others can walk through the photographer’s creation. The YEZZ Sfera has been designed to be compatible with other standard action cam accessories, so it can for example be fixed with standard brackets for downhill biking.
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YEZZ has selected to build the fish eye cameras into a phone with a decent spec sheet, which should help with its appeal. A 5.5” HD display is protected behind tempered scratch resistant glass and the 2GHz MediaTek octa-core processor with 3GB RAM powers the latest Android Marshmallow operating system.
The 32GB internal memory can be bolstered with a 64GB microSD card, although this may frustrate consumers as high-quality 360 degree videos are sure to eat into this pretty quickly. The 3,000mAh battery however, is welcomed and its high capacity shall surely prove valuable.
YEZZ have proved with the Sfera that 360 degree photography can be built into a smartphone and it doesn’t need to cost the earth. The next question is ‘Will consumers want to capture 360 degree photos and videos?’ Decide for yourself by watching the video clip below and use your finger (on touch screen devices) or the cursor to scroll around through 360 degrees.
Written by: Michael Brown