Check out this bullet-time rig that uses 130 HTC One smartphones

By on October 22, 2013, 7:30 AM

Qualcomm recently put together an impressive bullet-time photography rig (think The Matrix) consisting of 130 HTC One smartphones. The handsets are arranged in a circular configuration with all cameras firing simultaneously to capture the same subject from virtually every conceivable angle.

The camera array, which covers 540 degrees, was set up at Venice Beach. When all of the images are stitched together, you get a really slick animated GIF that acts as if you were walking around the subject frozen in time. It’s not perfect as a better camera array would have produced higher quality GIFs but it’s neat nevertheless.

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User Comments: 10

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Scshadow said:

I find it cool. Although it feels gimmicky too. It couldn't be economically practical to use smartphones in a rig to produce bullet time scenes. Or maybe it is, I'm not an expert.

TheBigFatClown said:

They did this in Creeds "Higher" video. Creeds video was a helluva lot cooler than this demonstration. But the HTC video is still cool none the less. I guess the point was to show the power of the SnapDragon? They probably used multi-million dollars cameras to shoot the Creed video.

Satki said:

Couldn't you do this with any basic processor that came out in the last 15 years? It's just synchronized timing... marketing gimmick.

cliffordcooley cliffordcooley, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Couldn't you do this with any basic processor that came out in the last 15 years? It's just synchronized timing... marketing gimmick.
Maybe so but have you ever heard of anyone doing it with a phone? This day and age it is a race to be the first one, next stop is doing this with smart watches.

With that said, how many phones are available that would actually capture fast enough to render still images without blur? This question alone speaks for the quality of the phones camera.

1 person liked this | Skidmarksdeluxe Skidmarksdeluxe said:

So this is why HTC could post better sales figures this month than they could previously. If they sell 130 more of these units each month they'd be out of the poo in double quick time.

Guest said:

to capture the same subject from virtually every conceivable angle ... The camera array, which covers 540 degrees

I am disappointed

Skidmarksdeluxe Skidmarksdeluxe said:

to capture the same subject from virtually every conceivable angle ... The camera array, which covers 540 degrees

I am disappointed

Yeah it would be disappointing to any imbecile.

MilwaukeeMike said:

First question... why HTC One? The Galaxy S4 has the same processor, and the LG G2 has the newer Snapdragon 800.

The most likely answer is that the One has a camera function called Zoe where it takes 20 fast pictures in like 3 seconds and makes them into a short video clip. Because of this rapid fire photo taking, your 'bullet-time' effect could be BOTH a still shot that you could rotate around, (like seen in the matrix) AND slow-motion video that could be rotated around while it played.

It would be a big hassle to stitch the pictures together, because of the 20 or so pictures in the Zoe, you'd need the first one from the first cameras, the 2nd shot in the series from the next batch of cameras, etc... it would take some work, but it would look very cool.

Or it could just be that when you're advertising your processor you want the prettiest phone, and the HTC One is the prettiest phone.

9Nails, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Couldn't you do this with any basic processor that came out in the last 15 years? It's just synchronized timing... marketing gimmick.
Maybe so but have you ever heard of anyone doing it with a phone? This day and age it is a race to be the first one, next stop is doing this with smart watches.

With that said, how many phones are available that would actually capture fast enough to render still images without blur? This question alone speaks for the quality of the phones camera.

Ok, now I get it! This is about how fast the camera, software, and processor work together in this phone. (Emphasis on Qualcomm's processor.) Which, the phone is a ubiquitous device which is good for a lot more tasks than your average camera. Thanks for pointing that out. I wasn't following the point behind this display either. Because I kept thinking that these phones are $550 each, and some point-n-shoot cameras are cheaper. In that respect this is pretty cool then.

t3chn0vamp said:

Nice video and good setup !

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