1. I got my kit without a manual. How do I get my first 360 panorama (quick setup)?
    Manual mode (with the lens and without the rotator):
    • download theVRkit app,
    • open the app and select the right options (rotator off) in the top-left corner,
    • make sure you use the proper lens (180S or 160M). We don't support 3rd party lenses,
    • remove your phone cover for best results,
    • clip theVRkit fish-eye lens on the rear-camera lens, the screen should show a sharp centered circle with black corners. If the circle is not sharp or centered, adjust the lens position,
    • hold the phone vertical, tap on the screen to take first shot, start rotating slowly either to the right or left, wait for the symbols (Yin Yang) to snap to take next shot,
    • keep rotating to complete a full turn, the 360 panorama should appear instantly when you finish your turn,
    • you can optionally view the result in VR mode by tapping on the "glasses" icon in the corner.

    Rotator mode (with the lens and the rotator):
    • download theVRkit app,
    • open the app and select the right options (rotator on) in the top-left corner,
    • make sure you use the proper lens (180S or 160M). We don't support 3rd party lenses,
    • remove your phone cover for best results,
    • clip theVRkit fish-eye lens on the rear-camera lens, the screen should show a sharp centered circle with black corners. If the circle is not sharp or centered, adjust the lens position,
    • make sure the rotator is charged, you should charge it for at least 2 hours at first usage,
    • screw the rotator on the provided mini-tripod or a standard one,
    • put the phone on the rotator and screw tightly the phone holder,
    • turn the rotator on, it shows a blue led. If the app does not connect automatically, check you have turned on Bluetooth mode in your phone. There is no need to pair the device or to use the rotator buttons,
    • tap the screen, the rotator should start rotating, the app will capture a picture every time the rotator stops,
    • the 360 panorama appears instantly when the rotator makes a full turn,
    • you can optionally view the result in VR mode by tapping on the "glasses" icon in the corner.
  2. What is the additional phone holder for?
    The phone holder that comes inside the box is great to start using the rotator. Once you are used to it and would like to make perfect captures, it is recommended to unscrew it and replace it with the spare phone holder. It allows for perfect nodal point alignment. Please check the corresponding section below.
  3. I have an iPhone 8, 8+ or X and the rotator is disconnecting (on-screen indicator green/red is blinking), why?
    This only happens if you bought the first generation of our rotators. Please contact us on help@theVRkit.com and we will arrange a replacement.
  4. The rotator is not rotating, why?
    Here is your check-list:
    • check that your rotator is charged, you should charge it for at least 2 hours at first usage. There is a red led inside the rotator that will turn off once it is fully charged,
    • turn your rotator on, you should see a blue led,
    • press on start/stop, the rotator should start rotating even if the app is not open,
    • if your rotator is mounted on a standard tripod, remove it and try again. The tripod screw might be too long and is pressing on the rotator internal mechanism.
    We are always ready to help you on help@theVRkit.com.
  5. The rotator is not connecting with the app, why?
    Here is your check-list:
    • your rotator should be turned on with a blue led,
    • check that your phone Bluetooth mode is turned on (there is no need to “pair” the rotator, the app will do it automatically),
    • if you have multiple rotators in the same vicinity, check that the others are turned off,

    If the icon remains red despite this check-list, you may:
    • turn the rotator off and on again,
    • kill the app and restart it,
    • turn location services on (in your phone global settings),
    • check that the app has the right to access location (Android only).
  6. Is my phone compatible with your kit?
    Any smartphone not older than 5 years is compatible, as far as it has a sensor called "gyroscope". All iOS phones have a gyroscope, and most non entry-level Android phones have one. Try to download the free theVRkit app from the store. If you can't, it means your phone is not compatible.
  7. I can't find theVRkit app. Why?
    Check the spelling: theVRkit in one word. You should find it on iOS for sure. If you have an Android phone, check you have a gyroscope (gyro) sensor.
  8. Is your lens compatible with my dual-lens device (iPhone 7+, 8+, X, other)?
    Regular fish-eye lenses do not fit correctly with dual-lens phones. Our 180S lens that comes with the Pro Kit is equipped with a specially designed articulated clip that allows it to fit any phone. If your phone has a thin case/cover, it is even better because the case/cover will compensate the thickness of the dual-lens. Here are two pictures showing the 180S lens attached on an iPhoneX for best results. You can see the fish-eye circle is centered and sharp.

  9. I already have a wide angle or fish-eye lens. Can I use it with your app?
    We have calibrated our app to work best with our lens. We don’t guarantee the output quality if you use another lens.

    We have tested *all* the lenses of the market without any exaggeration. Most of them are crap, and we mean it. There are a few average, and very few good ones. If you own a good lens, you should have bought it around 100$.
  10. I already have a rotator. Can I use it with your app?
    Our rotator is Bluetooth controlled by the app. It means the app will tell the rotator when to turn and when to stop. The picture is only taken when the rotator stops, which produces a sharp image even in low light.
    Most rotators available on the market are not Bluetooth controlled, and will continuously spin.

    Our app requires the phone to stop spinning in order to take the shot, and the app will not work with a continuously spinning rotator. Even if you find a rotator with Bluetooth control, we don’t guarantee that the communication protocol is compatible with our app.
  11. Do I need to buy your rotator? Can I only buy your lens?
    theVRkit app works in handheld mode. It means you can use it without the rotator. The quality can be very good if you keep improving the precision of your movement. For professional usage and excellent results, we strongly recommend that you buy our rotator.
  12. Do I need to buy your lens? Can I only buy your rotator?
    If you only buy the rotator, you can still create standard panoramas (only left and right, no floor and ceiling). For that, you cannot use theVRkit app. We recommend that you get the app DMD Panorama for gorgeous panoramas.
  13. Your rotator is expensive. I have found another rotator that looks the same and is cheaper. Why?
    Our rotator relies on a very precise step-motor for seamless pictures. Most rotators on the market are based on a low precision regular motor. Some manufacturers have imitated the shape of our rotator, but are using cheap components inside.
  14. I have found a 360 Camera at 100 or 200USD. Why should I buy theVRkit?
    • Most 360 cameras priced below 1,000USD will produce 4K output or below. They are also built to capture 360 Videos, so their performance for static images will be sub-optimal, especially in low-light.
    • Why would you buy another pair of cameras (360 cameras are usually a pair of cameras, put back to back), when you already have a great camera in your phone? theVRkit uses your camera, so whenever you upgrade your phone, you are also improving the output of theVRkit.
    • When using the rotator, theVRkit app allows for HDR (High Dynamic Range) feature that produces professional-grade images, whenever there are multiple lighting conditions in the same picture. This happens whenever you are facing a window. And how can you capture a 360 image without facing a window? unless you are in a windowless room …
    • You can use theVRkit with a lens only, it means your cost starts at 12.49USD. 10 times cheaper than the cheapest 360 camera, with 4 times more pixels.
    • Last but not least, you can put your phone on the rotator nodal axis and get a perfect (seamless) result, without stitching errors. All 360 Cameras struggle with stitching artefact.
  15. Can I use a standard tripod with your rotator?
    Yes, there is a standard thread in the bottom of the rotator. Before putting the rotator on a standard tripod, check that the tripod screw is not too long, it might break the rotator internal mechanism. You should use a rubber joint in this case.
  16. What are the buttons on the rotator for (start/stop and mode)?
    They are only used with the app DMD Panorama if you are not using a lens. Inside the app DMD Panorama settings, you need to activate the mode “theVRkit rotator” first. The choice of the speed (20-40- 60s) depends on the available light. Use low speed (high duration) when you have low light.
  17. What size/resolution is a 360 image?
    On recent phones, the output is 8K (8000x4000) or 32MP. It corresponds to 6-7MB in terms of storage. If your phone has less than 2GB of RAM on iOS (3GB on Android), the output is 4K (4000x2000).
  18. How do I know that the rotator is fully charged?
    When you plug the rotator for charging, a red led inside the rotator will turn on. It will turn off once the rotator is fully charged. Once fully charged it can perform between 150 and 200 full turns.
  19. I see your logo on the top, can I put mine?
    If you use the 180S lens and the rotator mode, you shouldn't see a logo on top. Please check you have selected the proper lens in the options. In all cases, we will add the option to handle zenith/nadir patches (custom logo, interpolation) in a future update.
  20. On iOS, the thumbnails disappear, the images are opening all black or all white. Why?
    iCloud sometimes interfere with your images. You may turn off the option "Optimize Storage".
  21. On Android, I can’t find the 360 images.
    They are located in a folder named theVRkit. If you don’t find them, and your phone has an SD card, try to remove the SD card and retry. It happens with specific combination of phones and SD cards, but we still don’t know why.
  22. I want to share my images in 360 by Whatsapp, mail, etc.
    You can use our app DMD Panorama for that. It recognizes any 360 image located in your phone gallery. You can upload the image to our cloud using this app, and share a link to an interactive 360 image.
  23. How can I view the 360 images I have captured?
    You can view your VR images either with the naked eye using your finger to navigate the capture, or using theVRkit glasses for an immersive experience. theVRkit app allows toggling between both viewing modes for any captures that are on your phone.
  24. What are some tips for better shots?
    Please find a few recommendations in order to improve the quality of your images:
    • You should remove your phone cover/case because it introduces a physical layer between the surface of the phone and the clip-on lens.
    • Ensure the clip-on lens and the smartphone lens are clean. Use a soft tissue to clean them. A dirty lens will definitely ruin the quality of your images and create halos around any light in the pictures.
    • Make sure you select the correct lens from the lens selector menu (bottom-right of the screen).
    • Higher resolution cameras and recent phone contribute to high-quality 360 panoramas. For best results, ensure that your phone camera can produce at least 12MP resolution images and that your phone has at least 2GB of RAM on iOS (3GB on Android).
  25. My images are great. What are some Pro tips for near perfect shots?
    Please find a few recommendations in order to improve the quality of your images:
    • If you are using the rotator, the lens should be on the rotation axis (nodal axis). For that, shift laterally the phone on the phone holder.
    • In order to compensate the lens thickness, use the plain holder (the one that comes as spare) and tilt the phone upwards. You will get a perfect nodal capture, better resolution on zenith, and larger patch on nadir to cover the tripod.
    • If you are in handheld mode, try to emulate the rotator as much as possible, with your hand holding the phone in position as if it is rotating around an imaginary tripod or vertical axis. A common mistake is to rotate around your body, with your feet remaining more or less in place. Instead, the rotation should revolve around the phone, and your feet should move accordingly to accommodate that rotation.
    • The phone lens should be centered in the middle of the fish-eye lens. Looking *through* the fish-eye lens, you can see the phone lens to fine-tune the fish-eye lens position.
    • In highly contrasted scenes, you can use HDR (High-Dynamic Range) mode, available in theVRkit app in rotator mode (and in handheld mode on some Samsung phones).
  26. Who are you? Why should I trust you?
    We have been doing 360 stitching for a while:
    • In 2007, we have released a free web-based 360 Panoramic stitcher. It is still available if you would like to use it: http://www.dermandar.com/create.
    • In 2011, we have released DMD Panorama app (it was named DerManDar, but no one could spell it correctly, even the Appstore guys) and it totaled 10M downloads on iOS, Android and even Windows Phone! It was the fastest app to create 360 Panoramas, when the Panoramic feature was inexistent in the built-in Camera.
    • Our website http://www.dermandar.com is a kind of social network to share 360 images. Millions of Panoramas have been shared through this platform.
    • We also do professional VR software. In 2016, we have released StereoStitch, a Live 3D-360 Video Stitching Software. We have initially worked with Nokia on their Ozo Camera. Too bad they have stopped producing this Camera now.
    • The founder of Dermandar has started a VR company in … 1996. Yeah it was too early.