Sentry 360 releases dewarping for all

Monday, June 1, 2009

NAPERVILLE, Ill.--Longtime 360-degree camera manufacturer Sentry 360 has begun to reshape itself as a software company as well, releasing in April a software development kit that allows just about any NVR or video management software to “dewarp” 360-degree video images (aka “immersive video”) created by fisheye lenses on megapixel cameras.

“No longer does there have to be proprietary cameras, lenses, and algorithms to do immersive video,” said Thomas Carnevale, president and CEO of Sentry 360. “What we’ve done with the NVR companies is say, ‘We think we make good devices, but you can use ours, or you can use our algorithm on a third-party camera that might be in the field already. That’s what we think is groundbreaking. It opens up the playing field tremendously.”

While the software is open-architecture, even software language agnostic, Sentry 360 will get a small licensing fee from the NVR company each time it is utilized.

JDS is one of the first NVR companies to integrate the SDK with its offering. “We’re very excited with what Tom and his team has done so far,” said Scott Little, business development manager at JDS, as he prepared to hop a flight for Australia, where he’ll be helping an integrator use 360-degree technology on a 6,000-camera installation. “This will allow companies like us to offer [360-degree video] for a whole breadth of manufacturers. The unique thing for JDS will be how we do things with the technology.” He suggested new kinds of virtual PTZ tracking, for example.

For Sentry 360, the release is the product of investment in two new .Net software engineers roughly six months ago. “We’re writing our own technology ourselves,” said Carnevale. “It’s something we haven’t done before.”

The company has also begun to release more application-specific hardware, like a mobile 360-degree camera aimed at the transportation market (“It’s going to look great on a bust at a ceiling height of eight feet,” Carnevale said), with aggressive price points.

Little thinks interoperability and pricing can make a difference in 360-degree adoption rates. “I think initially it will be a niche thing,” Little said, “but the cool factor is of the scale enough that people will adopt the technology.”