The GIROPTIC 360cam is one of the best action cameras we have seen so far. The unbelievable versatile 360 degree camera was further one of the most successful crowd-funding projects on Kickstarter. We talked to the founder of the original startup GIROPTIC and inventor of the amazing 360cam Richard Ollier.
EBV: The Kickstarter campaign for the 360cam reached nearly 10 times of its original goal – how do you explain this success?
Kickstarter was a product launch for us. Success in hardware is often getting the right product at the right time to the right community. This was the challenge of our campaign. It is a fine tune of Marketing & PR. We could have done better, we could have done worse – you can’t always explain things!
EBV: How did you come up with the idea and what have been the major challenges during the development?
GIROPTIC is an old startup, we started by developing 360 digital still cameras for real estate. We pivoted several time to go where the 360 market was going. After several switches from real estate to tourism then forensic, we did a big jump to the consumer market.
At GIROPTIC, everything is done in house, the major challenge was building the right team that could manage Optics, Boards, FW & Mechanical developments.
EBV: Is it possible to share the 360 degree videos e.g. via YouTube?
A big YES! Youtube announced it at CES 2015 so wait for it!
EBV: What are the targeted markets for the current 360° camera on top of the action camera? Did you consider the use of the 360cam as “after market dashboard automotive camera” that could be subsidized by insurance companies?
The 360cam is versatile. It can be used like any other camera with its battery attachment. What we developed is a virtual 360 sensor. So basically our technology can be used in anything already using an imaging sensor. Dash Camera is indeed one of those usages.
EBV: Is market differentiation a key to success? If so, how do you ensure to keep market differentiation?
I think the key to success is the accesorization. It is like your mobile phone. Everyone is having the same one. The only difference that makes your mobile phone not being mine is the apps installed. I believe this is how a product should be built and conceived today.
EBV: What is the next thing you plan?
Cannot say yet – your blog has too much readers : )
EBV: Do you have any advise for startups you can share?
Market validation is the key to success. Go touch your market as soon as possible. Crowdfunding is one way of doing this. It will give you the fastest feedback and eventually the funding to go to the next step.
Richard Ollier, CEO GIROPTIC
After graduating from engineering school HEI in France, Richard worked in Japan with Omnicom on interactive planning. Inspired by that experience, he returned to France and founded GIROPTIC in 2008 to bring 360° vision technology to everyone.