Spherical Video and Photos From The World Maker Faire 2016

I took my Ricoh Theta S spherical camera to the World Maker Faire in New York City and took some photos of the GlowForge booth. I doubt this website supports displaying spherical photos, but Google Photos does, so here’s a link to an album on Google Photos so you can see the photos streetview style: https://goo.gl/photos/Hpkzz24fmXmAa9GB6.

I also made a few spherical projections (2D representations of the spherical photo) that I can share directly in this post:

Support for spherical photos and videos is still pretty nascent. I have to turn to YouTube to share spherical video. Here’s a spherical video of a very accommodating GlowForge employee whose name escapes me answering my questions as I film him go through the entire engraving process from start to finish:


Nifty. Is the camera a drone, or a toss and retrieve ball? Seems to have a few people interested in something in the air during the image capture.

Takes a while to realize in the video that your hand is clipped where you are holding the handle for the camera. Maybe that handle just extends for the images up high?

EDIT: Re-examined the still image after seeing who you were in the video. Now I see how it works, the arm is extended, with a wire wrapped around that barely peeks through the clipping. Nifty.

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It’s mounted on a selfie stick. When you take a photo while holding the camera in your hand your body takes up a lot of the shot, and your hand is a bit conspicuous (though less than you might expect). The selfie stick is perfect for this device: since the stick is oriented radially outward from the lens its “visual footprint” is very small. Plus with the selfie stick you can hover over the scene or stick the camera through the bars of the lion’s cage or whatever. The downside is you’re a bit more obnoxious to those around you, but who cares about those people?

Edit to respond to your edit: Actually, the wire isn’t in use here—it normally activates my cell phone camera. I’m operating the Ricoh Theta S wirelessly (via wifi) with a phone app.


That WAS pretty cool, but now I’m a tiny bit nauseous…:astonished:


That soooo cool, now I want a Spherical camera and watch the video over and over and over again, every time in a different direction :sweat_smile:

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I notice that a red beam can be seen inside the laser tube. Is this visible to the eye or is it the camera seeing infrared? I would have thought 10um light would be too low to be visible to a camera. Or does the CO2 glow in the visible spectrum as well?

You can see it but it’s more of a light violet


The laser is visible and looked more or less as it does in the video.

I have read that the visible pinkish light is from other trace gases in the laser tube, but the actual laser light is in the infrared and is invisible to the human eye.



Again confirmation that my brain will have to change to truly understand 3D. This is beautiful. My first dive into the spherical camera.

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@davidhknowles: Yes, technically the red/pink light is not actually the laser itself. The light of the laser is 10,600nm which is in the infrared part of the light spectrum. We can only see wavelengths up to ~700nm. So if we see something glow, it’s because the laser’s light has either caused combustion (visible light via incandescence), as happens at the sight of etching/cutting, or caused excitation of a gas/gasses (visible light via fluorescence), which is presumably what is happening in the tube.

My guess would be that it is mostly Nitrogen you see:


Really cool video. :sunglasses: My first look at Spherical video as well. I had no idea that you could do that on Youtube. Thanks for sharing!

The CO2 laser creates a bunch of “waste” light in visible frequencies - that’s what you’re seeing. There are other gasses besides the CO2 that assist in the lasing process that are responsible - I don’t know what they are but @jacobturner’s guess is probably on the spot.

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https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carbon_dioxide_laser goes over the common gas mixtures.
The nitrogen, helium, and xenon can all contribute to the visible glow. Some of the gasses are a small percentage of the mix, but very efficient at producing visible light in a discharge tube (and a laser is basically a discharge tube with mirrors).

Once I get my forge, I’ll use a spectrometer to read out the exact contributions (cause I gotta measure ALL the light sources :slight_smile: ).


On what other message board on the internet could sharing event pictures result in this conversation?

“Here are some pictures.”

“That this is glowing a funny color.”

“Here are several possible scientific explanations.”

“Let me break out my spectrometer!”


True. Science, medicine, physics, engineering and all manner of tinkering.
Coming up on a year now, and a reason I lament missing out on the maker faire is the relationships that have developed amomg us in the background. Actually eyeballing you people would cement a friendship instantly.


It will be hard to get a solid reading on the Glowforge, since I don’t see any way to disable the lid lights so far (@dan… would be nice if we can turn those things off, in rare cases like this we want lower light).

I may break out my RSPEC and finally figure out how to get a decent reading with the thing on my tube.

I understand that a feature to turn off the lights (more control!) could be desirable, but in the meantime, can’t something just be placed over the lights to hide it?

Otherwise, I bet that @dan would say “In the hopper!”

For spectrometry to be accurate, you really need NO other light. Since the lights are rather flush to the lid, blocking them may be quite difficult. Well, at least with any reversible approach. You could plaster some putty or cut some wires pretty easy.

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