As first responders face the common risk of entering areas without knowledge of the hazards they could be facing inside, US start-up Bounce Imaging have created something rather innovative to help with this situation: a ball with six cameras placed inside, instantly sending a 360-degree picture to a smartphone.
The possibilities for this prototype are endless in respects to emergency services: detecting potential hostiles inside a building, finding survivors under rubble in a disaster, differentiate civilians from enemies on the battlefield, etc. Beyond this, every individual unit can be purpose-built for the task at hand, so firefighters can have a thermometer and methane detectors built-in.
However, a cause for concern on our behalf for the privacy implications of such a device, if it were to fall into the wrong hands. This could, essentially, be thrown onto private property and expose whatever is around it, leaving nothing to the imagination of Peeping Toms and criminals. While we see these risks (and overstated them with the use of terminology such as 'Peeping Toms'), the target audience (emergency services) for Bounce Imaging's product means it probably won't be available for public consumption; but we will find out more once the product exits the prototyping phase.
A brilliant invention, with both life-saving and low production costs, which received the accolade as one of TIME Magazine's Best Inventions of 2012. I can't wait to see more about this.
Source: Bounce Imaging