When I first heard about these cameras I thought a couple things; they will be great for real estate and that they were a little gimmicky for everyday use. I was right about one of those.
360° images and videos have been around for a while but it was a complicated and expensive endeavor. Usually, you would only see them in commercial applications like real estate property showcasing. Now that these cameras are available in the consumer price range ($200-700) and the software is mostly free and easy to use, we are going to see a lot more of this type of photography. These cameras work by using two lenses, one on each side of the device and then stitching the two images together. If you view the image without the 360° ability, it looks like an oddly melded rectangular photo - technically called 'equirectangular'.
My personal favorite is the 'tiny planet' image that can be made from a 360° photo. As the name describes, it appears as though you are standing on a teeny tiny planet. Group gatherings are fun to get a picture of everyone in a circle. Sharing is simple and many social network platforms have the built-in ability to view 360° images and videos (Facebook, Twitter, Google+)
You might notice in the photo above that you can see my fingers but not the camera - this is an artifact caused by the camera's software. It has the ability to edit itself out of the two pictures as it blends them together but my fingers are at the shutter release button and super close to lenses. This can be avoided by using a tripod or a selfie stick.
Follow me on Instagram to see more of my 360° (and other) photos
<- A fun video edited into a tinyplanet.