Create Virtual Reality Panoramas with Your Smart Phone

Ever wish you could immerse others in your vacation experience?

A new app by Optonaut allows you to create 3D experiences that you can look around in and interact with, just by taking a panorama photo with your cell phone on their app.


Their app is already up and working, but they’ve turned to Kickstarter to handle the server space they’d need to make the app public.

Basically, the app takes photos from different angles as you spin around for the panorama.

You can view the photos through a fancy device, or through a DIY Google cardboard kit to see the 3D panorama in all its glory.

Google Cardboard


It’s basically a modern day stereoscope, which is awesome.  (As someone who grew up with a Viewfinder and an addiction to the Jem reels, I approve!)

Here’s what it ends up looking like without the 3D viewer:

optonaut photo

The video for Otonaut on the Kickstarter page shows some awesome features–basically, you can turn your head while viewing the picture and it’ll respond as if you were actually there.  The ad, however, does have an “aw shucks, real photos don’t work!” infomercial type vibe to it.

The Kickstarter is a little more than halfway there with just a few days left.  The one problem with their Kickstarter is that the cost of the rewards are so low, they need a lot of backers.  There aren’t really any high-priced backing levels that would have mass-appeal.  (They are directed towards potential partners).

Given that though, it’s really impressive that they have been able to raise as much money as they have so far.

I went in for their $17 tier because it includes the cardboard viewfinder–and it is definitely worth that price (usually it is ~$20)–plus you get early access to the app.


As an explorer you will get a special Optonaut Cardboard (like Google Cardboard) to view Optographs and a priority invite for the Optonaut app to create stunning Optographs of your own.

That’s all you need to get started.

I’m crossing my fingers for this one.  It is very interesting, but again, lacks huge rewards to really bring in the cash.


About Jeanne Marie Hoffman

Former bartender, still a geek. One equal part each cookies, liberty, football, music, travel, libations. Stir vigorously. +Jeanne Marie Hoffman Jeanne on Twitter

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