Do you remember the Orbi Prime wearable 360 camera crowdfunding project? It’s a pair of sunglasses that can capture 4K 360 video. It appears that it has now been shipped to some backers. Here’s an unboxing and some sample 360 videos from this unusual camera.
Orbi Prime is a pair of sunglasses that can capture 4K 360 video. When I first heard of the design in 2017, I thought it was impossible because of the very large distance between the lenses. But I saw it at CES 2018 and I saw sample videos that showed that it could work. At that time, they were running a crowdfunding campaign. However, after many months, the product still had not been shipped, leading me and others to think that it was another abandoned crowdfunding project.
However, surprisingly, it turns out that Orbi Prime is actually shipping. Here’s an unboxing by Philipp Teucher who told me he was backer #742 out of 1106:
The packaging looks like it is ready for retail, which seems to suggest it might be close to production.
Here’s a sample video posted by the manufacturer:
The stitching is nowhere as good as current-generation 360 cameras, but it is much better than the stitching from the prototype shown at CES. I’m impressed that they’re able to stitch it at all, given the very large distance between lenses. There is obvious ghosting along the stitch lines but at least the objects do align (more or less). It appears that it can even adjust the stitching depending on the objects that cross the stitch line.
One thing that was not clear to me was whether the video is stabilized. However, here’s another sample where the user was jogging, which does show that it has stabilization, similar in performance to 1st-generation 360 stabilization such as in the Mi Sphere (reviewed here).
UPDATE: Here’s a sample posted by Philipp:
The detail and stitching look similar to the samples posted by the company, although Philipp’s sample seems to show that the dynamic range is very limited. Philipp confirmed that the stitching software does add stabilization and that the phone app has live view.
Based on these samples, it appears that the Orbi Prime has limited image quality compared to the 5.7K 360 cameras of today, but the convenience of hands-free operation and the unique first person perspective could make this usable for social media or casual videos. The hands-free design could also make it a good camera for people with disabilities.
If you did back this project, please post in the comments if you got yours and what was your backer number. And let me know what you think! If you’re interested in preordering Orbi Prime, it’s available on their website for $399. In the meantime, I’ll see if I can borrow a unit for review.