Zcapture and its first early prototypes started over five years ago. We have worked tirelessly by building, refining, enhancing a rugged and flexible 360° photography system rooted in the community of users. In November of 2013 we successfully funded this product line with Kickstarter and the great community of supporters found there. By coupling open source hardware design with the innovative application of technology, software, engineering, and creativity, we’ve been able to produce the perfect system that competes with many competing products in the marketplace at a fraction of the cost.
Our goal at Zcapture is to provide a low-cost, high-quality product that can be modified or customized to fit individual needs. We believe this product should be shared with the world in a manner that is disruptive, shows a better way of doing things and provides information in an open source medium, so no one can create a veil of secrecy that limits our ability to create individual solutions.
The beginnings of Zcapture came from our interest in ecommerce and making rich user experiences. It was clear there was an obvious market need so we put time and energy into creating a solution and filling this need. Through the product development phase and subsequent use in our studios a handful of groups have produced similar products that are inferior, overpriced, and do not have the customer’s best interest in mind. These companies produce decent equipment at a parasitically high price. This simply fuels our desire to create a great product at a price point that enables everyone to use this technology.
To simplify, the Zcapture system is an automated platform that controls both a turntable and your camera to rapidly produce 360° product photography. This definition only scratches the surface of what the system is capable of. It has been designed to work in a standalone configuration – or while connected to a computer – to configure and control its use. With the use of our software suite, Zcapture will produce stunning 360° shots with no post processing. Once the initial lighting is set up, you can go from product to website in as little as 10 minutes. This is a substantial boost in performance and efficiency other systems simply can’t match.
One of our goals – even from early prototyping – was to utilize as much open source technology as possible. We hoped to find a balance between capability and gimmick that would provide more value to customers in the end. This led to utilizing several different technologies throughout the entire Zcapture product lifecycle and creation process. In addition, we’ve been very conscientious about our hardware’s impact on the environment. We use durable, recyclable materials that reduce our impact on the environment. We have made sure our circuit boards and components all meet RoHS Compliant standards.
The Zcapture system utilizes Arduino Uno as its microcontroller. It operates and controls all the logic and programming-oriented functionality of the system. The Arduino platform is easy to learn and accessible to everyone. Many people like to tinker with Arduino because of the accessibility and ease-of-use. We’ve taken it a step further and turned the Arduino into an integrated component in the Zcapture system.