PCR talks to Tom Lawton about how the BubbleScope went from a sunset-inspired idea to a retail ready product.
How did you come up with the idea for BubbleScope?
I came up with it in the spring of 2001 while I was sitting in the open carriage doorway of a train, and looking out at the most amazing panoramic sunset. Iíd been travelling non-stop for 56 hours through India. This was before we had camera phones, Google streetview and even before the iPod was launched. It wasnít so much a flash of inspiration but a gradual awakening to the idea of designing a compact and affordable, easy-to-use 360 bubble camera.
Going from idea to production hasnít been an easy journey...
When I started the project I knew nothing about cameras or optical systems, let alone how to potentially build the brain of the system into the software on a mobile handset.
Thankfully, as the project has developed so too have the technological building blocks behind it. Like all good projects, I started off with months of research to discover everything I could about the field of omni-directional imaging.
Then came the concept drawings, reams of them, followed by ray-traced optical simulations. Even these were years before I started the expensive job of diamond turning mirrors and building lens systems. There have been many technological and personal breakthroughs to get the point I am at now, with a retail ready product and internal distribution in place. All I can say is that if you want to succeed then never give up.