Bouncy ball camera start-up awarded $50K at MassChallenge (w/video)
(Nanowerk News) A bunch of cameras, electronics and LEDs packed into a rubber shell the size of a tennis ball could help firefighters or SWAT teams scout out the potentially dangerous environments they are about to enter.
Designed by Boston-based startup Bounce Imaging, the device contains six cameras. When the ball is thrown into an unknown area, the cameras take two photographs per second and send them to a smartphone or laptop, where software knits the images into a 360-degree view of the room. The cameras capture light in the near-infrared range, and the device comes equipped with infrared LEDs, allowing it to build a full panorama of a scene even if it is poorly lit.
On October 23, Bounce Imaging was selected as a Gold Winner at MassChallenge ($50K prize), the largest startup accelerator in the world.
This are the potential uses for the bouncy ball camera:
Police around the world face an increasingly complex tactical environment. The rise of the “active shooter”, with recent incidents including Aurora and the Sikh Temple shooting, has meant that the regular patrol officer now faces “SWAT-like” situations without the training and equipment of specialized team. Bounce Imaging is developing systems to fill this need. In the coming months, Bounce Imaging will enter field testing with several police units in Massachusetts.
Firefighters frequently must enter burning buildings searching for victims, putting their own lives on the line. While some larger departments have access to thermal imagers, such technologies are beyond the reach of most units. Bounce Imaging is developing low-cost sensor units that not only provide an image of a space, but also transmit relevant data like temperature and oxygen levels.
Soldiers today face a range of threats and situations in which they must see around a corner, inside a compound, or down a tunnel or sewer system. Bounce Imaging is developing systems that will not only make life-saving technologies accessible to front-line infantry – they will also reduce the likelihood of civilian casualties.
Search & rescue after a disaster is often a slow and difficult process. Bounce Imaging is developing sensors that will not only reduce the technical difficult of searching collapsed buildings, but will also help map the unfamiliar terrain of a post-disaster landscape.
Bounce Imaging’s flexible sensor platform can also be adapted to more complex tasks, such as industrial inspection or Homeland Security container inspection.