A Head for Heights: Virtual Reality Weather Cameras Create Stunning Mountain Panorama

The world’s highest lookout tower made out of wood, the Pyramidenkogel in Carinthia, Austria, now has the world’s first weather panoramic camera with virtual reality.

Based on two smartly-combined cameras from Axis, the PanoCloud service from the Austrian company WMS WebMediaSolutions automatically creates a high resolution 360° panoramic image from hundreds of single images several times each hour.

The latest weather panorama is available online and offers a unique VR experience, for which the user only needs a VR headset or a smartphone and a Google Cardboard viewer, and which conveys the feeling that the viewer is actually standing on the platform itself. And yes, you definitely need to have a head for heights!

The technology behind the mountain panorama in the living room

A dome camera (AXIS Q6115-E) and a hemispheric camera (AXIS M3027-PVE) together provide the view from the ground to the sky and in complete 360 degrees to guarantee a complete panorama.

Robert Schelander, CEO, WMS WebMedia Solutions GmbH particularly values the natural and full colour rendering of the camera, which is ideal for creating weather panoramas. In this respect the camera maintains the same quality as professional TV cameras and can withstand any kind of weather 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Another advantage of the camera is the very high perspective above the horizon; in this way, the mountains can be “caught” much better.

A comprehensive application for tourism

The solution offers great new opportunities for the tourism industry. As an example it can help specific regions gain attention and build their profile, by:

  • Linking the camera images from the lookout tower on webcam platforms and TV images for weather TV
  • Applying virtual captions to landmarks
  • Designing a news ticker below the image and link it to a RSS feed
  • Creating an overview map for orientation
  • Sharing images and videos simply across social media

A stunning panorama enhanced through virtual reality can act as a compelling promotion of any region’s countryside (or, indeed, a vibrant city’s urban landscape) encouraging more visitors inspired by what they’ve seen online, or it can simply bring the world into everyone’s homes, in all its beauty.

See the first Virtual Reality panoramic live weather camera installation: