A Camera You Can Throw

Latest Tech

A Camera You Can Throw

Bounce Imaging’s “tactical throwable cameras” are turning a photographer’s worst nightmare into a police officer’s new best friend.

Normally the idea of throwing a camera would be somewhat cringe-worthy, but the Boston-based tech startup’s “Explorer” is changing that with a 360-degree camera built for tossing. The spherical, softball-like product’s thick rubber layer allows its owner to throw it at will – without the awful shattering that would otherwise follow.


The Explorer is designed to help law enforcement personnel scout potentially dangerous situations and catch criminals in hiding. Once thrown, it snaps several photos per second with six different cameras shooting at once. It then stitches the images together to create a panorama that can be sent to the owner through an accompanying iOS or Android app.

Here it is in action:

The ball is also equipped with LED lights to illuminate dark rooms, and comes in a special tactical edition with scaled-back lights that are less noticeable.

“It basically gives a quick assessment of a dangerous situation,” said CEO Francisco Aguilar.

Aguilar and co-founder Dave Young met as grad students at MIT, and launched Bounce Imaging in 2012. The technology made TIME’s Best Inventions list the same year, and subsequently won the Explorer and Invention Award of 2013. Aguilar came up with the idea during the 2010 Haiti Earthquake, which saw rescuers relying on complex, ineffective imaging systems for rescuing survivors from the rubble.

“Only a few teams had them, and you had to be really well trained to use them,” he said.

After what we imagine was a long product development journey, the Explorer has finally hit the market at $1,495 for the primary model or $2,495 for the enhanced version. It’s a steep increase from the innovators’ original goal of keeping the price in the $500 range, but an extremely useful tool for crime fighting nonetheless. Hopefully it helps keep officers safe during raids and fire rescues.