Golan Levin recently picked up a Bloggie video camera, which is a pretty standard camera except for a neat panoramic lens attachment that you can get for it. Unfortunately, it didn’t include Mac-compatible software to convert the donut-shaped video into a wide panorama, so he wrote an Open-Source Panoramic Video tool to do the conversion. The result, a reasonable quality panoramic video, are pretty impressive for such a cheap system! Additionally, the conversion software and camera are both capable of working in real time, which means that it should be possible to capture real-time panoramic video.
After playing around with it a bit, he also noticed that the camera resolution in panoramic mode was limited to 720p. To get around this, he modded the panoramic lens, removing a magnet that notified the camera to reduce it’s resolution. This allowed him to capture 1080p video, however because of the way the camera sensor works, it turns out that the top and bottom of the panoramic donut are cut of. If one can live with that, however, it almost doubles the resolution of the panoramic video.