Information on this odd-looking device has been floating around for awhile now, with the initial announcement coming during CES 2008, but official word hit today that Ortery's Photosimile 5000 has been launched.
Designed to allow "everyone the opportunity, regardless of photography experience, to create professional pictures and product animations," Photosimile uses the apparatus pictured above in conjunction with a digicam and special software to automatically shoot 360-degree product shots. Place a product on the Photosimile's turntable and the machine apparently does the rest, outputing JPEGs, animated GIFs, or even Flash animations that allow product viewing in 3D.
The Photosimile features a 28 x 28 x 28 inch light box with 6500K daylight balanced illumination. The central turntable supports 25 pounds and allows the product being photographed to be automatically rotated a full 360 degrees. The overhead camera boom can adjust the camera position to nine angles along a 90-degree arc.
Photosimile's automation software, which communicates with both the lightbox and camera via USB, can automatically shoot and stitch 100 pictures in 13 minutes according to the press release. Software support is for Windows 2000/XP/Vista only.
The device will be available in September, but pricing has yet to be announced. For more info, visit the manufacturer's website at www.ortery.com.