We haven’t heard much about Acer’s upcoming 360-degree camera since they teased it in April. Back then, Acer talked up the Holo360 camera as featuring 4G LTE connectivity, making it in theory a standalone device that wouldn’t require a smartphone. Turns out, that’s exactly what it is — Acer is showcasing the Holo360 at the IFA 2017 tradeshow in Berlin this week.
The Holo360 isn’t sleek like the add-on accessories we’ve been seeing for smartphones — it’s a brick of metal with a nice gunmetal or white matte finish and a 3″ touchscreen. Thanks to a Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 SoC, the Holo360 runs Android 7.1. Combined with LTE connectivity, that all means it’s possible to use Acer’s camera to take 360-degree pictures and video, edit them, and share them, all without the help of another device. The only important part we’re not sure about is how they’re handling storage — whether they’ve put a lot of internal storage on the device or will be leaving it to you to get a big, fast microSD card.
Because it doesn’t require a smartphone or a laptop, the Holo360 could end up being really popular with streamers. The camera can be used to stream video live to platforms like Facebook, and it sounds like that’ll be in pretty good quality, too. It’s feasible too, now that all the major carriers have moved back to unlimited data plans. In years past, streaming over 4G like this would’ve ran through your data allotment in no time. Then again, stream enough with this, and you might just hit those 21 GB to 23 GB throttling thresholds!
Acer hasn’t detailed the camera sensors in use here, but they say the camera will be capable of taking 6.9K images and 4K video, all in 360 degrees. Like most, it’ll have two camera sensors back to back, using software running on that 625 SoC to stitch the images together into one spherical image. Sounds promising, but at $430, you might want to wait for reviews. Acer plans to launch the Holo360 in North America in November.
But, Acer wasn’t done. At IFA, they’ve got a second 360-degree camera! The Vision360 camera works in the same way as the Holo360, but it’s being positioned as a sort of next-gen dash cam. Also getting LTE connectivity, the Vision360 also has some features that will kick in in the event of an accident. If a collision is detected, the camera will log the GPS coordinates and send that information to cloud servers, so even if the camera is destroyed, the information can be used as evidence. Acer has designed it to be a windshield-mounted camera, which could be a problem should the camera come to the United States — some states have legal restrictions on windshield-mounted devices.
Having a 360-degree camera as your dash cam is an interesting prospect. Not only will you be able to show what the other driver was doing, you can have some proof that you weren’t driving while distracted (you weren’t driving while distracted, were you?), which could end up being pretty useful in court. We’re not sure when you’ll be able to make use of it, though — Acer didn’t say anything about pricing or availability for the Vision360 today.
Check out more of our IFA 2017 coverage right here!