Aberystwyth student develops “world’s first” miniature fisheye camera

20130218025445-camera2A PhD CANDIDATE at Aberystwyth University has developed and begun efforts to market his ‘world’s first digital lo-fi fisheye’ camera.

Greg Dash, a second year PhD student in the School of Management and Business, came up with the original design for his own personal use, as he was unable to find a miniature fisheye camera for sale. Following some interest in the camera when he was using it, and encouragement from others, he decided to attempt to refine the concept and market it as a product for a wider audience.

“I got in touch with the person who helped me to develop the first camera and worked out the amount of money that would be required to do a mass produced version,” Dash said of the process. “I also made a couple of design changes from the prototype that recycled some parts from other cameras.”

Having found a manufacturer, Dash is now working to raise the funds needed to create 1,000 units. Dash’s fundraising page states that £35,000 is needed for this initial product run and, if this is successful and the camera proves popular, he will consider making more.

The Lofi-Fisheye Digicam has a 170 degree lens that can be rotated through from 2 mega-pixels to 12 mega-pixels camera depending on the image quality required by the user. It also features a time lapse mode and the ability to record video in High Definition. The photos and videos are stored on a microSD card, which can be removed to upload images to a computer, or the camera itself can be connected to a computer with the appropriate cable.  The current design does not feature a screen on which to view photos after they are taken.

“The response to the camera has been fantastic,” says Dash. “Within the first day it was picked up by CNET, about a week later my images were in the Metro.”

“The hardest part is spreading the word though as I don’t have any money to spend on advertising… If I don’t hit the £35,000 I won’t receive any of the money, and I’ll have to cancel the project. So if anyone is interested in getting hold of one, it’s essential they go and pledge on the page asap.”

Individual cameras are being sold at £65, with various multi-unit bundles coming in at a reduced rate per item.