If you're fluent in Japanese or at least acquainted with ordering at the sushi bar, you'll probably know the Tamaggo 360-Imager is a +1 letter play upon the Japanese word for "egg". But what we didn't know when we first wandered up to Tamaggo's booth was exactly what the handheld device was designed to do...Tamaggraphy is what they're calling the experience of using the Tamaggo 360-Imager, a digital camera engineered to capture an all-encompassing, 360° panoramic images at 14-megapixel sizes from nearly any angle. Think of all those times when you've awkwardly outstretched your point-and-shoot or smartphone, or had to setup your DSLR on timer, all in hopes of getting yourself with your best mates or guy/gal pal in the shot.
The ergonomic handheld is designed to captures image in four automatic orientations without the need to focus and just one button: Sky 360°, Ground 360°, horizontal panoramic, and vertical panoramic. A 2" screen touchscreen allows for previewing what you've snapped, though we wonder how easy it will be touch navigating on such a small screen.
All this photographic tech is planned for a 2nd quarter appearance for under $200. Unfortunately, as fun as this all sounds, Tammago only had non-functional prototypes at CES (we did get to hold/handle the non-working model, but it proved to produce unsatisfying images even with our excellent imagination), with stand-in sample images illustrating what looks to be a promising tech toy. The Tamaggo joins the recently released "everything in focus" Lytro in a new wave of secondary cameras aimed for social occasions. Whether these serious photo toys catch on like the photo-cult of Lomography is still to be seen, but we certainly look forward to the day when this concept develops into a reality to play around with.