German media reports that the founders of the company behind the Panono 360-degree ball camera have filed for insolvency proceedings at a court in Berlin, Germany. Unfortunately this means it’s very unlikely that the backers of the original crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo will ever receive their camera.
The small number of buyers who purchased a Panono through retail channels after the Indiegogo campaign could be affected as well. At this point it is unknown if the the Panono servers, which power the automatic stitching of the Panono’s 360-degree images, will remain functional for the foreseeable future.
Initially things had gone well for the German start-up. The Indiegogo campaign generated 1.25 million dollars in 2013. However, it soon became obvious that the team had miscalculated the development time for the camera which back then only existed in prototype form.
The final product was due to ship in 2014 but instead there was only a second prototype in February 2015. A few months later first shipments were announced, but not to the project backers. Instead the cameras went to retail customers who paid a considerably higher prices. It appears at this point the company had already run out of money and was hoping to generate additional funds for mass production and eventual shipping to project backers.
Now it seems this plan has not worked out either and remaining funds have dried up. We had the chance to test both a prototype and final product of the Panono camera and were quite impressed by the technology. 360-degree cameras are now much more widely available than in 2013 but none of the affordable models offer the Panono’s 108MP resolution and image detail.