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Title:
MOBILE DEVICE CASE
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2019/010160
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A mobile device case for recording 360° panoramic photos and videos comprising a plurality of cameras. The mobile device case comprised of a front wall, a back wall, a first side wall, a second side wall, and a top wall, wherein two or more of the walls of the mobile device case include at least one camera. The 360° panoramic photos and videos recorded by the mobile device case are also viewable on a Virtual Reality ("VR") enabled device.

Inventors:
SAMUELS, Delano (120 Elgar Place 11c, Bronx, NY, 10475, US)
LAWRENCE, Stephon (757 East 82nd St, Brooklyn, NY, 11236, US)
Application Number:
US2018/040685
Publication Date:
January 10, 2019
Filing Date:
July 03, 2018
Export Citation:
Click for automatic bibliography generation   Help
Assignee:
SAMUELS, Delano (120 Elgar Place 11c, Bronx, NY, 10475, US)
LAWRENCE, Stephon (757 East 82nd St, Brooklyn, NY, 11236, US)
International Classes:
A45C11/00; A45C13/00; A45F5/00; G02B13/00; H04N5/225; H04N5/232
Foreign References:
US9055220B12015-06-09
US20150085184A12015-03-26
ES1141683U2015-07-23
US20160216477A12016-07-28
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
SCHNEER, Ryan, M. (Florek & Endres PLLC, 1156 Avenue of the AmericasSuite 60, New York NY, 10036, US)
Download PDF:
Claims:
CLAIMS

1. A mobile device case with a plurality of cameras, the mobile device case comprised of a front wall, a back wall, a first side wall, a second side wall, and a top wall, wherein two or more of the walls of the mobile device case include at least one camera.

2. The mobile device case of claim 1, wherein each of the side walls includes at least one camera.

3. The mobile device case of claim 2, wherein the top wall includes at least one camera.

4. The mobile device case of claim 1, wherein the front wall, back wall, first side wall, second side wall, and top wall define a sleeve, which forms a continuous three-dimensional structure that substantially takes the shape of a portion of a mobile device. 5. The mobile device case of claim 1, wherein at least one camera is attached to a surface of at least one wall.

6. The mobile device case of claim 1, wherein at least one camera is embedded within at least one wall.

7. The mobile device case of claim 1 further comprising a data transmitter.

8. The mobile device case of claim 7, wherein the data transmitter is a wired data connector.

9. The mobile device case of claim 7, wherein the data transmitter is wireless.

10. The mobile device case of claim 7 further comprising wiring connecting the plurality of cameras to the data transmitter.

11. The mobile device case of claim 1 further comprising one or more of a circuit board, a memory unit, and a processor.

12. The mobile device case of claim 1 further comprising a stabilizing member that protrudes outwardly from a surface of the case in a direction perpendicular to the top wall of the case.

13. The mobile device case of claim 12 wherein the stabilizing member is integral to the case.

14. A mobile device case with a plurality of cameras, the mobile device case comprised of a front wall, a back wall, a first side wall, a second side wall, and a top wall, wherein four or more of the walls of the mobile device case include at least one camera.

15. The mobile device case of claim 14, wherein the front wall includes at least one camera, the first side wall includes at least one camera, the second side wall includes at least one camera, and the back wall includes at least one camera.

16. The mobile device case of claim 14, wherein a location of the cameras on the front wall, first side wall, second side wall, and back wall define points of a plane. 17. A mobile device case with a plurality of cameras, the mobile device case comprised of a front wall, a back wall, a first side wall, a second side wall, a top wall, and a bottom wall wherein five or more of the walls of the mobile device case include at least one camera.

18. The mobile device case of claim 17, wherein the front wall includes at least one camera, the first side wall includes at least one camera, the second side wall includes at least one camera, the back wall includes at least one camera, and the top wall includes at least one camera.

19. The mobile device case of claim 18, wherein a location of the cameras on the front wall, first side wall, second side wall, and back wall define points of a first plane, and wherein a location of the cameras on the first side wall, second side wall, and top wall define points of a second plane orthogonal to the first plane.

20. The mobile device case of claim 18, wherein the bottom wall comprises at least one camera, so that the mobile device case comprises six or more cameras.

Description:
MOBILE DEVICE CASE

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to a mobile device case, and more particularly to a mobile device case for capturing 360° panoramic photos and videos. The present invention also relates to a mobile device case for recording virtual reality ("VR") photos and videos.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

With the rise of social media platforms, web users are increasingly sharing mobile photos and videos. Specifically, platforms like Instagram®, Snapchat®, and Periscope® enable users to share "live feeds" of sporting events, concerts, and vacations abroad. Owing in part to consumer interest in sharing these "live feeds", a number of 360° panoramic cameras for mobile devices have entered the market. The hope is that using 360° panoramic photo and video will enhance the quality of social media output. While many smart-phones such as the iPhone® and many Android®-enabled devices have built-in cameras, these cameras cannot take live 360° panoramic photos or videos. Instead, for a user to take a 360° panoramic photo, the user must take a series of still photos, which the device's software then converts into a 360° panoramic photo. The cameras in iPhones® and many Android®-enabled devices are not capable of taking 360° panoramic videos.

A few attempts have been made to create peripheral devices that attach to mobile devices and provide live 360° panoramic photos and video capability. However, these peripheral devices have extremely limited portability. They rely on large, bulky camera attachments that prevent the user from easily storing the mobile device in a pants pocket or handbag. Moreover, with the growing popularity of VR devices such as VR headsets, consumers are increasingly demanding live content that they can view on their VR device. For example, there is currently no available technology that would allow consumers to have an immersive experience of traveling with a friend who is halfway across the world from the comfort of their own home.

Accordingly, there is a need in the art for a portable mobile phone attachment that allows users to take live 360° panoramic photos and videos. There is also a need for a portable mobile phone attachment that allows users to transmit videos viewable on a VR device in "real time". SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention is directed to a mobile device case for recording 360° panoramic photos and videos comprising a plurality of cameras.

As defined herein, the phrase "360° panoramic photos and videos" is intended to include both two and three dimensional panoramic photos and videos and including 360° panoramic photos and videos. Two dimensional 360° panoramic photos and videos are panoramic in 360° with respect to length and width. Three dimensional panoramic photos and videos are panoramic in 360° with respect to length, width, and depth. Two dimensional 360° panoramic photos and videos are panoramic in 360° with respect to a horizontally oriented plane, where three dimensional 360° panoramic photos and videos are panoramic in 360° with respect to a horizontal oriented plane and a vertically oriented plane. It is also possible for three dimensional 360° panoramic photos and videos to be panoramic with respect to a horizontal oriented plane and a vertically oriented plane, and all diagonally oriented planes therebetween.

The 360° panoramic photos and videos produced by the mobile device case of the present invention are preferably viewable on VR devices. As defined herein, "VR device" is intended to include any device or medium capable of providing a partially or fully immersive experience. While the immersive experience should be visually immersive, it can also include other sensory inputs and outputs such as audio (e.g., surround sound) and sensory feedback (e.g., haptic feedback, vocal feedback, etc.). VR devices suitable for use with the present invention can include but are not limited to the Oculus® Rift, Sony® PlayStation VR, the Samsung Gear® VR, etc. Of course, the 360° panoramic photos and videos can be viewed on other devices such as personal computers, televisions, mobile devices, etc., as known in the art, and can be viewed on panoramic screens, including screens having cylindrical and half-spherical shapes such as those in panoramic theaters and planetariums.

The mobile device case can be shaped and sized to fit any portable device on the market including a smart-phone, PDA, a tablet such as an IPad®, and/or a gaming device. However, in a preferred embodiment, the mobile device case is shaped and sized to fit an iPhone® or an Android®-enabled device. In a most preferred embodiment, the mobile device case is shaped to fit an iPhone®. The mobile device case can also be adapted to connect to the internet via either Bluetooth® or WiFi by incorporating a radio transmitter/receiver.

It is envisioned that the mobile device case of the present invention may be any peripheral device adapted to engage with one or more surfaces of a mobile device. Thus, the mobile device case of the present invention may be a cover, a sleeve, a band, a strip, a sheet, a patch, a clip, a cap, a pocket, or combinations thereof. The mobile device case may be composed of a single component or multiple components that engage one another. The case can be comprised of any material suitable for engagement with one or more surfaces of a mobile device. Common mobile device case materials include plastic, polyurethane, polycarbonate, carbon fiber, leather, metal, silicone rubber, and the like.

In some embodiments, the case is in the form of a case member. The case member preferably forms a continuous three-dimensional structure that substantially takes the shape of a mobile device. Forming the case member of a flexible material allows it to comprise a single piece, which allows the user to bend and stretch the case to fit a mobile device inside. In some embodiments, the case member stretches around to the front of the mobile device by way of front extension portions. It is envisioned that the case member can be made of any suitable flexible material. However, in a most preferred embodiment, the case member is comprised of silicone rubber. The case member can be manufactured using any suitable method known in the art, for example inj ection molding.

In some embodiments, the case member contains wiring along an interior or within a wall for transmitting data from each camera to a data connector that can be connected to a data port on a mobile device. This is not necessary, however, given that the case can rely on the wiring on the inside of the mobile device to transmit data. The case can also transmit data from the plurality of cameras to the mobile device using any wireless transmission mechanism known in the art including WiFi, Bluetooth®, radio, ultrasound, and the like. Nevertheless, in some embodiments, the wiring runs along an interior surface, exterior surface, or within the side and/or the back of the case member and connects each of the cameras to the data connector.

The plurality of cameras can be any number of cameras that can work in tandem to generate 360° panoramic photos and videos. The plurality of cameras can comprise at least one, at least two, at least three, at least four, at least five, at least six, at least seven, or at least eight cameras. In a preferred embodiment, the plurality of cameras can comprise at least three, at least four, at least five, or at least six cameras. In a most preferred embodiment, the plurality of cameras comprises at least four or at least five cameras.

The plurality of cameras can be connected to, on, attached to, within, and/or otherwise engaged with the case member. The plurality of cameras can be connected to the case member directly, or indirectly, such as through a spacer material. In an embodiment, the plurality of cameras are attached to the case member by any suitable attachment mechanism such as gluing, heat bonding, and the like. Most preferably, the plurality of cameras are embedded within the structure of the case member. For example, the embedding can comprise incorporating cameras within the case member, such as by molding or otherwise forming the case member around the plurality of cameras. The plurality of cameras can also be embedded within the case by cutting out openings from the case member. The plurality of cameras should not be embedded too far into the depth of the case and are preferably embedded 0.1 mm deep or less into the case, more preferably 0.05mm deep or less into the case, and most preferably 0.01 mm deep or less into the case.

The plurality of cameras can be arranged or oriented in any geometric pattern that allows them to work in tandem to generate 360° panoramic photos and videos. In a preferred embodiment, the cameras are arranged or oriented radially around a top portion of the case member. In a most preferred embodiment, the cameras are oriented biradially around a top portion of the case member. An exemplary biradial orientation would have the cameras arranged in a pattern corresponding to two orthogonal circles, with a plurality of cameras forming a circle in a longitudinal direction and a plurality of cameras forming an intersecting circle in a latitudinal direction. For purposes of the present disclosure, each of the orthogonal circles may be defined by three or more points lying in a plane. The orthogonal circles can also encompass other round shapes such as ellipses.

The plurality of cameras can comprise cameras of any type suitable for digitally capturing a still or moving image. That is, each camera should be individually capable of taking photo and video. In an exemplary embodiment, each camera is an F X 318 camera manufactured by the SONY® Corporation. The cameras should also be able to work in tandem to generate live panoramic photos and videos up to and including 360° panoramic photos and videos. One method of using cameras in tandem to generate live or recorded 360° panoramic photos and videos is with specialized computer software that can take individual video clips and camera stills and "stitch" them together. Other methods of using cameras in tandem to generate live or recorded 360° panoramic photos and videos are disclosed by U.S. Patent Nos. 8,717,412; 8,009,178; 7,860,343; 7,843,451 and by U.S. Patent Publication Nos. 2013/0300821 and 2013/0141524, all of which are incorporated herein by reference in their entireties.

Each camera can be any shape but each is preferably circular. The cameras can also be any size as long as they can all fit on a surface of, or within, the case. In a preferred embodiment, each camera has an area of about 3 in 2 or less, about 2 in 2 or less, about 1 in 2 or less, about 0.5 in 2 or less, or about 0.25 in 2 or less. In a preferred embodiment, each camera has a thickness of about 0.2 in or less, about 0.1 inches or less, about .05 inches or less, or about .025 inches or less.

The mobile device case can also include a data transmitter. The data transmitter can be any device capable of transmitting data from the plurality of cameras to a mobile device. The data transmitter can be wired, in the form of a data connector, and/or wireless. Examples of wireless data transmitters include radio transmitters, Bluetooth® transmitters, Wi-Fi transmitters, ultrasound transmitters, and the like. Examples of wired transmitters include USB connectors, Ethernet connectors, RJ11 connectors, DUST connectors, and the like. The data connector preferably accommodates mobile devices having physical data ports. When present, the data connector is preferably on the bottom of the case, corresponding to the location of the data ports on most iPhones® and Android®-enabled devices. However, the data connector can be located anywhere on the case to accommodate a variety of mobile devices. Any suitable data connector can be used. In a preferred embodiment, the data connector is a USB connector. Examples of suitable USB connectors include USB-A, USB-B, USB-C, USB mini-A, USB mini-B, USB micro- A, and USB micro-B.

The mobile device case can also comprise a processor and a circuit board in wired and/or wireless connection with the plurality of cameras. Any suitable processor or circuit board can be used. Again, however, this is not necessary, given that the case can rely on the circuitry on the inside of the mobile device to process data. Nevertheless, in some embodiments the processor comprises a CPU, a GPU, and a RAM unit. While any suitable processor can be used, by way of example, the processor can be a Tegra Kl processor manufactured by the NVIDIA® Corporation. The circuit board can be of any suitable size and make, as long as it can fit comfortably within the case and on a user's mobile device. In a preferred embodiment, however, the circuit board has an area of about 12 in 2 or less, about 10 in 2 or less, about 8 in 2 or less, about 6 in 2 or less, about 3 in 2 or less, about 1.5 in 2 or less, or about .75 in 2 or less. The mobile device case can also include a data storage component in the form of a memory unit such as a Mini SD® or Micro SD®.

The mobile device case can also comprise a stabilizing member to prevent the 360° panoramic photos and videos from becoming choppy due to wobbling, trembling, or shaking of the case. In some embodiments, the stabilizing member can comprise a physical device that ensures that the mobile device case is stable relative to a horizontal plane. The physical device can be integral with the case and can comprise a ledge that protrudes outwardly from the case. Other examples of stabilizing members suitable for use with the mobile device case include stands such as a gooseneck stands. Tripod shaped stands are also envisioned. In some embodiments, the stabilizing member can be supplemented by or substituted with image stabilization software alone or in combination with other known algorithmic methods for stabilizing panoramic images {see, e.g., Chinese Patent No. 104333675, which is incorporated herein by reference in its entirety).

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The attached drawings are intended to better illustrate a preferred embodiment of the present invention without limiting the invention in any manner whatsoever.

Figure 1 is a front view of an embodiment of the mobile device case of the present invention.

Figure 2 is a left side view of an embodiment of the mobile device case of the present invention.

Figure 3 is a back view of an embodiment of the mobile device case of the present invention.

Figure 4 is a top view of an embodiment of the mobile device case of the present invention. Figure 5 is a right side view of an embodiment of the mobile device case of the present invention.

Figure 6 is a front perspective view of an embodiment of the mobile device case of the present invention.

Figure 7 is a front perspective view of an embodiment of the mobile device case of the present invention.

Figure 8 is a back perspective view of an embodiment of the mobile device case of the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

The following description of the preferred embodiment is presented to describe the present invention without limiting the scope of the appended claims in any manner whatsoever.

As shown in Figures 1-8, the present invention is directed to a mobile device case 2 in the form of a case member 4. The case member 4 has an open front with engagement members in the front of the overlapping portions extending over the edge of the front of a device. The mobile device case 2 also comprises a data transmitter in the form of a data connector 6 and plurality of cameras 8 mounted on a surface of the case 2.

As best seen in Figures 1, 3, and 6-8, the mobile device case 2 preferably has a substantially rectangular shape conforming to a shape of a portion of a mobile device. In an embodiment, the corners of the rectangle may be rounded. The front wall of the mobile device case 2 preferably has an opening that exposes the hollow interior of the case 2 for inserting and housing a mobile device. In a preferred embodiment, the opening is also substantially rectangularly shaped to allow a user to view of as much of the device's screen as possible. In addition, the opening is preferably positioned on the front wall of the case 2 so that a portion of the front wall overhangs and rests on top of a corresponding portion of a desired mobile device.

In a preferred embodiment, the opening in the front wall is sized and shaped such that the front wall consists only of an overhang that is in connection with the top wall and corresponding portions of the side walls and extends to about 5-20% of the overall length of the case, preferably about 5-10% of the overall length of the case.

The mobile device case 2 may also have one or more optional apertures in the back wall and/or front wall to expose the mobile device's native camera(s), if one exists, or to expose other features on the device. For example, the mobile device case 2 can also comprise one or more apertures in the bottom wall of the case 2 for exposing speakers.

As best seen in Figures 2, 4, and 6-8, the side walls, top wall, and front wall of the mobile device case 2 can also comprise one or more button overlays for protecting native buttons on one or more sides of the mobile device, and one or more slits for exposing native buttons and/or switches of the mobile device. As best seen in Figure 6, the mobile device case 2 can also comprise an opening in the bottom wall for inserting a headphone jack.

In a preferred embodiment, the case member 4 is comprised of a back wall; two side walls, a top wall, and a bottom wall all extending perpendicularly from the back wall and joined at their edges; and a front wall parallel to the back wall that together define a hollow interior of the case 2.

In a most preferred embodiment, the case member 4 forms a continuous three- dimensional structure that substantially takes the shape of a user's mobile device. The side walls, bottom wall, and top wall of the case member 4 have a thickness such that the hollow interior, i.e., the inner perimeter of the case member 4 is dimensioned to substantially correspond to the width length, and depth of a desired mobile device. In some embodiments, the inner perimeter of the case 2 is dimensioned to correspond substantially to the Apple iPhone®, having dimensions of about 6.2" x 3.07"x 0.29." In some embodiments, the case is dimensioned to correspond substantially to Samsung Galaxy S6® devices, having dimensions of about 5.65" x 2.78" x 0.27." In some embodiments the case has a size ranging from about 5" x 2.5" x .25" to about 6.5"x 3.5" x 0.3."

The plurality of cameras 8 may be arranged on one or more of the side walls, top wall, bottom wall, front wall, and back wall of the case 2. The plurality of cameras 8 may be mounted to an exterior surface of the case 2, an interior surface of the case 2 with each camera 8 in alignment with a corresponding aperture extending from the interior surface to the exterior surface of the case 2, or embedded within the walls of the case 2. The lenses of the plurality of cameras 8 should all face outwardly.

In some embodiments, the plurality of cameras 8 comprises two or more cameras 8 with at least one camera 8 on at least one wall. For example, the plurality of cameras 8 can comprise two cameras 8, one each side wall, that can work in tandem with one or more native cameras of a mobile device. The plurality of cameras 8 can also comprise three cameras 8 with one on each side wall and one on the top wall. In some embodiments the plurality of cameras 8 comprises two or more cameras 8 that combine to form the points of a plane with one or more of the mobile device's native cameras. For example when a mobile device comprises a front camera, the plurality of cameras 8 can comprise three or more cameras 8 with at least one camera 8 on the back wall and at least one camera 8 on each of the first and second side walls, with the points of a plane being defined by the three or more cameras 8 of the mobile device case 2 and the native camera on the front of the device. Similarly, when a mobile device comprises a back camera, the plurality of cameras 8 can comprise three or more cameras 8 with one or more cameras 8 on each of the front wall and one or more cameras on each of the first and second side walls, with the points of a plane being defined by the three or more cameras 8 of the mobile device case 2 and the native camera on the back of the device.

Likewise, when a mobile device comprises a native camera on the front and the back, it is envisioned that the mobile device case 2 can comprise one or more cameras 8 on each of the first and second side walls of the case 2, so that the points of a plane are defined by cameras 8 on the first and second side walls of the case 2 in tandem with the native cameras on the front and back of the device. It is also envisioned that two or more cameras 8, alone or in tandem with one or more native cameras can define a first plane, while three or more cameras 8 alone or in tandem with one or more native cameras can define a second plane orthogonal to the first plane. For instance, two or more native cameras on the front and back of the device can form a first plane with two or more cameras 8 on the first and second side walls, while an orthogonal plane can be formed by three or more cameras 8, with the orthogonal plane comprised of one or more cameras 8 on each of the two side walls and one or more cameras 8 on either or both of the top and bottom wall.

In some embodiments, the case 2 employs a camera 8 on each of the top wall, first side wall, second side wall, front wall, and back wall for a total of five cameras. In some embodiments, the case 2 employs a camera 8 on each of the first side wall, second side wall, front wall, and back wall for a total of four cameras 8. In some embodiments, the case 2 employs a camera 8 on each of the first side wall, right side wall, front wall, back wall, and bottom wall for a total of six cameras 8. It is anticipated that the present invention includes embodiments having all possible permutations of plurality of cameras 8 associated with one or more of the front wall, back wall, side walls, bottom wall and/or top wall. It also anticipated that more than one camera 8 can be associated with one or more of each the front wall, back wall, side walls, bottom wall and/or top wall.

In a preferred embodiment, four cameras 8 can be along the edges of the top portion of the case 2, with each camera 8 having a field of view that can individually capture still or moving images in front, in back, to the left, to the right, above, and below each camera 8. In another preferred embodiment, the cameras 8 are positioned adjacent the top edges of the side walls, front wall, and/or back walls, such as within about 0.5", 0.25", 0.125", or 0.0625" of the top edges. The positioning of the cameras 8 near the top edges may eliminate the need for a camera located on the top wall. In another preferred embodiment, the case 2 employs one camera 8 on the front wall, one camera 8 on the back wall, and one camera 8 on each of the side walls. In a most preferred embodiment, the case 2 employs one camera 8 on the front wall, one camera 8 on the back wall, one camera 8 on each of the side walls, and one camera 8 on the top wall.

It should also be understood that any multiple of cameras 8 may be placed on each of the walls in keeping with the aforementioned configurations. The cameras 8 on the front wall, the back wall, and the side walls, of the case 2, respectively, can be arranged in a laterally- oriented radial pattern as best seen in Figures 1-3 and 5-8. The cameras 8 on the front wall, the back wall, and the top wall of the case 2, respectively, are oriented in a radial pattern in a longitudinal direction as best seen in Figures 1, 3, 4, 6 and 8. This results in five or more cameras 8 arranged in a biradial direction on the case 2.

The cameras 8 on the front wall, back wall, and side walls are preferably all vertically equidistant from the bottom wall and the cameras 8 on the front wall, top wall, and back wall are preferably all horizontally equidistant from the first or second side walls. Accordingly, the cameras 8 on the front wall, back, and side walls are preferably coplanar and the cameras 8 on the front wall, top wall, and back wall are also coplanar. In a preferred embodiment, the plane comprised of the cameras 8 on the front wall, back, and side walls is orthogonal to the plane comprised of the cameras 8 on the front wall, top wall, and back wall. It should be understood from the foregoing discussion that a single camera 8 may lie in one or both of the planes.

In a preferred embodiment, the cameras 8 are mounted proximate the top wall, such that the cameras 8 reside in the upper 50%, upper 25%, upper 20%, upper 15%, upper 10%>, or upper 5%) of the case 2 measured from the outer surface of the bottom wall to the outer surface of the top wall.

The present invention is also directed to a mobile device case, as described above that includes a mobile device comprising a data transmitter. In some embodiments, the data transmitter of the mobile device case 2 is in the form of a data connector 6. As best seen in Figures 1, 6, and 7, the data connector 6 is located on the inner surface of the bottom of the mobile device case 2. In a preferred embodiment, the data connector 6 extends from the bottom wall of the case member 4 toward the hollow interior of the case 2. This location allows the data connector 6 to easily bend into the bottom data jack of a user's mobile device. The data connector 6 can also comprise a plurality of grooves to allow it to fit snugly into the bottom data jack of a user's mobile device. The data connector 6 enables communication between a mobile device and the mobile device case 2, in particular, the plurality of cameras 8 of the mobile device case 2.

The present invention is further directed to a method of taking a 360° panoramic image or video, including an image or video viewable on a VR device. The method preferably includes a step recording a 360° panoramic a video or image using one or more outwardly facing cameras, such as the cameras 8 of the mobile device case 2. The method described above can also include the steps of connecting a mobile device to a mobile device case 2 as described above and providing an instruction to the mobile device to record a photo or video. In this method, the instruction may be transmitted to a software application that is loaded onto the memory of the mobile device. In a preferred embodiment, the instruction is transmitted by pressing a button on the mobile device, using a mobile device case 2 that is programmed to represent a command to record a photo or video, or by speaking to the phone using wireless voice-recognition technology. Once activated, the device, having the case 2 installed, can be held up in a vertical orientation to take 360° still or moving images.

The present invention is further directed to a method of manufacturing a mobile device case 2 that includes a step of forming a case member, such as the case member 4 described above, and a step of providing, connecting, attaching, and/or embedding at least one camera 8 thereto. The method of manufacturing a mobile device case 2 can also include steps of attaching a data connector 6, and/or steps of providing any additional elements as described above.

Variations, modifications and alterations to the preferred embodiment of the present invention described above will make themselves apparent to those skilled in the art. All such variations, modifications, alterations and the like are intended to fall within the spirit and scope of the present invention, limited solely by the appended claims.

All documents, patents and other literature referred to herein are incorporated by reference in their entireties.

It is envisioned that any feature or element that is positively identified in this description may also be specifically excluded as a feature or element of an embodiment of the present invention as defined in the claims.

The invention described herein may be practiced in the absence of any element or elements, limitation or limitations, which is not specifically disclosed herein. Thus, for example, in each instance herein, any of the terms "comprising," "consisting essentially of and "consisting of may be replaced with either of the other two terms. The terms and expressions which have been employed are used as terms of description and not of limitation, and there is no intention in the use of such terms and expressions of excluding any equivalents of the features shown and described or portions thereof, but it is recognized that various modifications are possible within the scope of the invention claimed.