Before Circle Optics
Before officially founding Circle Optics, our founder’s initial motivation for looking at 360° cameras was mapping. He wondered why the world had not been mapped continuously and why he could not virtually walk around it. The reason? There is a bottleneck in 360° content production caused by parallax and the need to stitch images together. The extra time and money it costs to stitch grows exponentially as the video length, frame rate and resolution increases.
The opportunity to solve this problem first came in Zak’s senior year of college, at the University of Rochester, during his advanced lens design class. He was not able to solve it in that final semester (he still will not give out his final grade), and the dream was put on hold.
Over the next few years he traveled the world, until one day in Australia a brief conversation reminded him of his dream of mapping the planet and making the camera that makes that possible. He immediately flew back to Long Island and started working on what would become Hydra.
Circle Optics Comes to Light
Circle Optics was officially founded in December 2017. It was originally located in New York City, but with the acceptance into NextCorps Luminate Accelerator, Circle Optics found its permanent home in Rochester, New York December 2018.
The company quickly grew as the abundant optical resources in Rochester presented themselves. Between January 2019 and May 2019, the team grew from 1 to 15. It is filled with top senior talent from the area as well as fresh young faces from the surrounding universities.
This rapid growth has quickly created a company culture of strong work ethic, but there is always time for food and jokes. We are excited to continue to see the company grow and create an environment ideal for innovation.
In May 2019, Circle Optics was awarded its first patent covering our system, method and applications. Since, further applications have been submitted.
In June 2019, Circle Optics placed at Luminate finales winning a $250k investment, as well as a $10k audience choice prize. Since then we have been raising for our seed round and developing a production quality Hydra. We plan to disrupt the 360° content industry by removing the bottleneck of stitching, providing the highest quality camera and letting this medium flourish.
Want to know more about Circle Optics or 360° content in your industry? Contact us, we love to chat!
Corporate Operations Manager
Associate Project Manager