One of the big problems you encounter when moving a camera from dry land to under the water is the difference in the index of refraction (IOR). That’s the thing that often makes rivers and lakes appear much shallower than they actually are when you’re looking at them from the water’s edge. For 360° cameras, this difference in IOR can be a big problem when it comes to shifting from the air to underwater.
A team of researchers at the Institute for Basic Science (IBS), Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), the Gwangju Institute of Science and Technology (GIST), the Seoul National University and The University of Texas at Austin, though, have developed a system based on one of nature’s designs. They’ve taken inspiration from the fiddler crab to develop a 360° camera system that works both in and out of the water.