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A multi-camera system inspired from the visual system of flying insects is introduced which is referred to as the Panoptic camera. In the Panoptic system each camera is mounted over a hemispherical geometry and has its own vision of surrounding and distinct focal direction. The Panoptic device finds application in the area of omnidirectional vision and 3D imaging. A systematic approach is presented for the coverage analysis and design guidelines of the Panoptic device. The presented approach enables the construction of arbitrary multi-camera systems based on the Panoptic principle. An implemented hardware architecture based on FPGA is introduced which is capable of real-time omnidirectional vision reconstruction. The implemented hardware is capable of live video streaming at a rate of 6.25M pixels per second and a maximum image resolution of 32M pixels per FPGA board.