VR Bubbles are Cool!

Ontario artist and educator Colleen Rose (@ColleenKR, on Twitter) shared a unique view of her art classroom this morning, and the image far surpassed what one would usually get with a standard photo.

Created with the iPhone app Bubbli, the fully spherical view of the room immediately had me seeking out the source app on the iOS App store.

bubbli_logo_@2x  bubbli_icon@2x

Hours later, as the afternoon sun streamed through my classroom windows and reminded me of the need to take advantage of available light, I packed up my bags and headed outside. A few minutes later I was standing in the back yard of the school waving my phone around in the air.

The “bubble” image above is the result.  The app, in conjunction with a powerful upstream stitching application, allowed me to easily create the VR bubble within only a couple of minutes.  If you have an accelerometer-supported smart phone, view the image bubble using that, and you will see the image move around you as you tilt and pan your phone. Within a web browser on a computer, use your mouse to view up, down, left, and right.

Prior to making the image shared at the top of this post, I experimented further away from the play equipment, and you can see the results of my first, second, and third attempts on the  site.  I don’t know that my “painting technique” (their metaphor) improved all that much from first through fourth — the stitching algorithm does a fantastic job of removing the overlaps. If anything, my composition improved as I learned how well the app/server were able to handle objects close to the camera  — something I was initially concerned about having seen previous phone based  “pano” apps distort objects in the foreground.

The built-in getting started tutorials provide a quick and clear introduction to the app and the process, and the interface of the app is so simple to use, I’m going to see tomorrow if a child can do it. I’m sure they will be able to.


BONUS: If you email yourself a link to the bubble, you also get a nice little animated GIF thumbnail in your email, and you can suss out the URL if you view the source of the email.
The animated GIF itself is a nice bonus!

Time for another iPhone Photo Project?

The fun in playing with a new iOS camera app today reminds me that it’s been a while since I scoured the iOS app store for new and interesting camera/image apps. In 2011, a number of folks joined me in the April 2011 iPhone Photo Project  iPPP • (archives here), and again the subsequent year for the May 2012 iPhone Photo Project iPPP2 • (archives here). Given that 2013, 2014, and 2015 have passed by unrecognized, I’m thinking that today’s app play will herald in a 2016 re-incarnation, the February 2016 iPhone Photo Project iPPP3.

Who’s in?

I’ll formally announce it with an iPPP3 – Day 2 app tomorrow. Consider Bubbli as the app for use for iPPP3 – Day 1. Start your iPhones!