By Gadjo Cardenas Sevilla
In terms of versatility as a photo or video recording device, notrhing can come close to the iPhone specially when it comes to thrid party products that enhance the device's functionality. We've heard of iPhone cases that allow lenses to be added but the folks at Kogeto have gone beyond that and introduced a way to shoot 360' video on the iPhone 4 or 4S which is unlike anything we've seen before.
Most cameras take video limited to the range of the lens, Kogeto's Dot ($80.00) is an attachment and iOS app combo that enable the recording of video that covers 360' of vision. The best thing about these videos is that you can scroll them anytime during playback to see any part of the horizon, this is a weird yet extremely cool innovation.
Here are a few links that show what this is all about http://www.kogeto.com/dotspots/K2A454M82HRG and http://www.kogeto.com/dotspots/3S39NWR9DKON - What this does is elevate the formidable image capture capability of the iPhone and iPhone 4S into a whole new direction.
The Kogeto DOT device itself is incredibly simple to install it clips on to the back of a caseless iPhone 4 and cover the camera.
Kogeto's compact and durable iCONIC lens works with the iPhone 4 / 4S HD video camera to capture full 360° video — all at once — without stitching frames together. Their unique catadioptric optical system is fully AR-coated for excellent color fidelity in all environments. Dot is a lightweight attachment that doesn't require batteries or external power.
Dot comes with a microfiber pouch that doubles as a lens cloth. Once installed on the iPhone you can still use the device normally and make calls but it does stick out and isn't very pocket friendly.
There are many ideal scenarios for the Kogeto Dot such as parades, concerts, the running of the bulls in Pamplona, Spain ; any situation that has action extending beyond the range of a regular camera's coverage is perfect for capture using the Dot.
When using the Dot, the iPhone needs to be held complete flat in order to get a good horizontal space. this means that there is no way to see the screen or the controls (which means you need to learn how to use the Dot app without looking at it or you will have to turn the iPhone over and as a result the beginning an end portions of your video be moved upside down.
Despite this, the result in well lit situations are quite good and at night they are variable. The iPhone's camera isn't really focusing on anything in particular so don't expect anything too sharp. A avariety of video Dotspots have been recorded and can be viewed here.
A truly innovative product that is still an iPhone exclusive, the Kogeto Dot brings a whole new dimension to video from a smartphone.
Rating: 4.5 out of 5