I’m Jeffrey, founder / ceo of Mosaic. I know some of you on this thread either from online interactions or in person, such as David, Federico, Jim, and Joscelin. It’s nice to see you all.
We are a startup, building a camera that has been specifically designed for ground-level mapping and infrastructure inspection for B2B clients. We have designed the Mosaic51 camera specifically for that, and not for other stuff. In fact we have been very specific in our product design for a narrow range of applications, and have made an effort to not make a general-purpose 360 camera that is suitable for other stuff such as VR filmmaking or consumer applications for example. Designing products in general is very hard. Designing hardware products is even harder, and requires serious commitments that can’t easily be changed. So we have said “yes” to certain things, and “no” to lots of other things.
So as an industrial-grade tool for large-scale visual data collection by business clients, we have made a lot of very specific decisions in our product design, for example: waterproof military-grade screw-in power, ethernet, usb connectors (these are very expensive, but worth it for certain clients or applications; lenses that are protected by custom lens windows with specific anti-reflective characteristics, and again are waterproof via an o-ring and screw-in metal ring - these are not $5 lens filters you buy on Amazon, and it makes a big difference; a housing that is hermetically sealed with a valve on the bottom, and is passively cooled; GPU chips inside the camera which allow very substantial capacity for edge AI inference tasks and other stuff to be run on the camera in realtime; a 12-bit compressed RAW codec; and other stuff.
All of these things take time and money to design, prototype, test, and build. Additionally, the device itself is made of certain components that have a certain cost, and many of those parts can cost a lot more if you’re buying 10 or 100 at a time, rather than 1000 or 10,000 at at time.
Finally, some stuff in the world is priced according to the value it brings, and other things in the world are priced with a specific markup from the cost of the parts they’re made from (that’s what a commodity is).
So while I’d love for all of you guys to have our camera and use it - and I can assure you, it will overall do a great job and make your life easier even if (like anything else) it’s by no means perfect - we can’t make everyone happy all of the time, and maybe our focus is on bigger / more industrial clients at the moment rather than individuals, not only because of the price but due to other reasons as well.
Regarding the resolution - all things being equal, more is always better for some clients who need to either 1) read as much text as possible - can you read the opening hours and the menu on that restaurant window? and 2) any kind of 3D/photogrammetry benefits from as much resolution as possible, with no upper limit. Of course all things are not equal and there is a balance to be made.
Regarding the image samples, we will post additional samples (DNG files, h.264 files, source / stitched) very soon, thank you for that feedback.
Finally, let’s start a discussion about what YOU want to see - If any of you have serious pain points in your current data collection/photography/camera usage, and would like to have a serious conversation about what you would like to see in a future product, then I’d love to talk. Of course this is not the only product we’re ever going to build