Google to pilot Edinburgh-born tech in three different countries

Web giant to trial NCTech’s new 360-degree Street View camera

Google is set to trial a new 360-degree Street View camera – developed by Edinburgh-based reality imaging system specialist NCTech – in three different countries.
The new Intel-powered camera provides vehicle-mounted image capture for Google Street View and other platforms and will be piloted internationally.
With a 360 x 300 degree field of view, the new camera, which will be available later this year, captures data at five frames per second to produce 60 megapixel spherical images. The Street View auto ready camera is designed to collect data from any moving vehicle for Google’s Street View and other platforms.
Google’s Street View Product Manager, Charles Armstrong, said: “We are keen to explore technologies that can help increase the volume and frequency of data uploaded to Street View.
“NCTech is a truly pioneering company – they continue to set the bar in spatial reconstruction by blending futuristic tech with accessible design and price points, and we look forward to seeing the results of our pilot with their new camera.”
NCTech CEO Cameron Ure said: “We’re delighted that Google will pilot our new camera in support of its Street View offering.
“With this new camera, we aim to enable a further wave of expansion in digitising the planet with the goal of increasing the 10 million miles per year currently available online, to one billion miles per year.”
The new camera uses Intel technology and will be the first to adopt NCTech’s Intelligent Capture System, a cloud-based system that talks to each camera, ensuring that the data collected is unique and manages disk space on the camera.
NCTech CTO Neil Tocher added: “With this product, we’re making use of the very latest Intel Apollo Lake processor technology.
“Intel have worked very closely with us to ensure the product realises all the potential benefits provided by this new chipset for ultrafast street-level virtualisation.”
NCTech has also announced a second new Street View compatible product, the VRC (Virtual Reality Camera). The new low-cost consumer camera will provide 3D virtualisation of interior places, capturing 360-degree images and depth, allowing viewers to explore in full immersive virtual reality.
Tocher said: “The VRC is the first affordable consumer Virtual Reality Camera. It will help democratise virtual reality by making the capture of user generated 3D VR content easy and abundant.
“The VRC’s Street View API compatibility now enables anyone to be able to share their virtualized places on Street View.”
Jonathan Ballon, General Manager of Internet of Things Group, Intel Corp, said: “NCTech is automating the process of building out the digital world from the edge to cloud – with Intel® Atom™ E3900 Series inside the cameras and Intel® Xeon™ powering the Google Cloud.
“We’ve seen lots of real world places being virtualized, but these guys are pioneering virtualizing the entire world with their cutting edge cameras iSTAR Pulsar and Iris VR and their ColourCloud service.”
NCTech designs and manufactures 360-degree reality imaging systems which automate and streamline the workflow of image documentation and can be used repeatedly, accurately, consistently by anyone anywhere. NCTech is headquartered in Edinburgh and funded by Archangel Investors Ltd and the Scottish Co-Investment Fund.
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