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The $2400 Panono Camera Ball hits its owners with brand new extra costs

For every Kickstarter or Indiegogo success story, there are plenty more disappointments that either never see the light of day, or end up delivering a lot less than promised. This might be a first though: the Panono Camera, which raised over £750,000 in crowdfunding back in 2013, is now hitting its owners with new charges. 

Nine years after the original reveal, and three after units arrived in backers hands, Panono’s current owners sent an email out to owners of the 360-degree camera ball saying that each photo produced from September 1 would cost €0.79 (~73p) to be stitched together in the cloud.

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“In our first years of operations of our start up stage, we have given this service as a free gift to users,” the company wrote in an email shared by Panono owner Nico Goodden on Twitter. “Now, with higher use and maturity of our services, we have to hand these costs over to our customers to maintain our business and operations, as these costs already start to produce heavy deficits on our side.”

This is bad enough for any of the 2608 original backers who received one for the promised $600 (and, reportedly, not all of them did). But after the company filed for bankruptcy, the pieces were picked up by Bryanston Group AG, a private equity firm which now sells the quirky camera for $2,400 (~£1975).  Apparently that high price is still not enough to keep the servers running.

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And no, apparently you can’t stitch the pictures together yourself. Or not well, anyway:

So far, Panono hasn’t suggested an offline stitching tool will be forthcoming, leaving buyers with an unpalatable decision: either pay 73p per photograph, or accept that they’ve wasted between $600 and $2400, and move on with their lives.

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