This is a short story about this camera, Point Grey's Lady Bug II
versus this other camera, Doduca from IMC.
StreetViews immersive imagery as introduced on Google Maps is captured by stitching together five or more video camera feeds resulting in 360 degree moving panoramas termed as "immersive video". Immersive video prior to Google's interest was very much a niche media type and just another "wazzo-camera". Immersive video is a very cool digital product and its pioneers include iMOVE, Point Grey Research, and IMC or Immersive Media Company. And there are a number of new entrants coming along as well...
"Trading of Immersive Media stock was halted the day the Streetview functionality was announced. This was to prepare for massive stock activity that the announcement of Immersive Media's licensing their image data to Google would generate. What instead we see from the stock price is a steep rise a week before the announcement followed by a brief peak and then a decline in stock price. I guess the insiders who bought up stock before the announcement managed to unload it all in a day or two." Artificial Intelligence and Robotics
Just ten days later, IMC continued to make hay on their "special" but mysterious deal with Google...
Calgary, Alberta, July 12, 2007 – "Immersive Media Corp. [TSX-V: IMC] (the "Company") announced today that it has closed its previously announced underwritten private-placement. The underwriters exercised their option to increase the size of the offering by 1,023,000 common shares, resulting in the issuance of 4,116,000 common shares at a price of $4.85 per share for aggregate gross proceeds of approximately $20 million. The net proceeds of the offering will be used by the Company for general working capital purposes. The common shares are subject to a hold period of four months from closing." IMC
As you can see from the stock chart above, even on the announcement of StreetViews and the increased interest in IMC, the stock just did not perform. Why? Apparently IMC had given Google exclusive access to its content but Google had no exclusive deal with IMC? They reserved other options on populating StreetView with content. Enter Point Grey Research and its Lady Bug spherical video solution...
The Ladybug®2 is the next generation of spherical digital video cameras from Point Grey Research. The system has six HD cameras that enable the system to collect video from more than 75% of the full sphere (lower blue sky index), and an IEEE-1394b interface that allows streaming to disk at 30fps.
With the Internet's excitement for StreetView, Google rapidly expanded its use of Point Grey Research's LadyBug cameras over IMC's "Dodeca-camera". Rumor was they could equip ten cars for the cost on one Dodeca camera without all the licensing strings IMC demanded. So the only way out was for IMC to terminate their once promising opportunity with Google... ouch!
October 1, 2007
GeoImmersive™ Google Imagery Content Licensing Agreement
ends on December 27, 2007
Calgary AB – October 1, 2007 – Immersive Media Corp. announces the termination of its content license agreement with Google Inc. effective December 27, 2007. Although IMC may experience some modest decreases in revenues in the short term as a result of the termination of the agreement, in the medium and long term, management of IMC does not anticipate that the termination of the agreement will have a material adverse effect on revenues.
But all is not lost for IMC. A most interesting comment appeared on December 28, 2007 from a stockholder that attended the recent Annual Stockholder Meeting for IMC...
The first half hour or so, was dry, dealing with election of directors and other typical business affairs. Once this was concluded, Myles McGovern took center stage and discussed every major transaction from the beginning of the year, to the end. Juices started to flow. Two graphs were presented and these caught the audience's attention, the first showing the share price run up to July or thereabouts. The second, the decline from July to Dec/07.
A pin could of been head, if one was dropped. This was what everyone came to hear. Why and what was going to be done. To no ones great surprise, the finger was pointed at the general market environment and the loss of the affiliation to Google..... Formerly and Frankly , I was quite disturbed by the slide of the share price but once I got my mind wrapped around tax loss selling and the direction of the company, I was quite relieved. Hammeron2 - an IMC Stockholder
(Microsoft used LadyBug to document Katrina's destruction of New g Orleans....)