Ricoh's Theta V came out just last summer, bringing 4K 360-degree recording in a diminutive package. At the time, Ricoh announced that the new camera would be able to make use of first-party plug-ins via the companion app. Now the company is expanding things to a larger audience, opening up a new "Plug-in Partner Program" for the Ricoh Theta V.
Like the existing first-party plugins, the new ones will work via the Android app, allowing third-party developers to create and distribute their own tools for use with the camera.
So that developers aren't making extensions blindly, Ricoh is opening up its API and SDK, making them available for those interested in creating new plugins. In addition, the company plans on providing other tools and guidance to help developers, and it plans on opening a partner marketplace where third-party plugins can be distributed.
360-degree photos and videos are still a developing technology, so opening up this plug-in system for developers should help expand the potential use cases for it. For example, one of the existing first-party plugins allows you to mirror the output of the Theta V onto a larger display. Developers participating in the new program might find other novel and exciting ways to use the camera.
Ricoh announces Plug-in Partner Program for RICOH THETA V
Launching spring 2018, initiative includes an online marketplace where third parties can upload and share their Android-based plug-ins for the popular consumer 360-degree camera
LAS VEGAS (CES 2018, South Plaza, Booth #64704), January 8, 2018 – Ricoh today announced the RICOH THETA V Partner Program, which will launch in spring 2018. The new program will support third-party developers interested in creating their own Android™-based plug-ins for the RICOH THETA V, the top-of-the-line Ricoh 360-degree camera capable of capturing fully-spherical photos and 4K video. The program will be featured at CES 2018, where attendees will be able to get a hands-on experience creating their own plug-in, resulting in the creation of a new feature for the RICOH THETA V camera.
Based on the Android operating system, the RICOH THETA V provides a user-friendly way for third-parties to not only create apps and software that extend and enhance the capabilities of 360-degree imaging but also new features and functionality for the camera itself. These can include customized capabilities that enhance the RICOH THETA V’s use for specialty applications and in vertical markets. As part of the program, Ricoh is making available the RICOH THETA V’s application program interface (API) and software development kit (SDK) and will provide tools and guidance to support plug-in development. It will also open an online RICOH THETA V partner marketplace, where plug-ins can be uploaded and shared.
A unique plug-in preinstalled in the RICOH THETA V enables “Remote Playback,”*1 which makes it possible, using a compatible wireless display adapter, to mirror playback of 360-degree still images and video data stored on the camera on a large screen monitor.
“By opening the platform for application development, we are enabling the RICOH THETA V to be a constantly evolving product. For this reason, we are very excited about the new partner program,” said Wataru Ohtani, Corporate Associate Vice President and General Manager of Smart Vision Business Group, Ricoh Company Ltd. “The RICOH THETA V Plug-in Partner Program will enable third-party companies and developers to create custom features and services. Our goal is for consumers and businesses alike to benefit from RICOH THETA V and to become a standard platform for the 360-degree imagery.”
When launched in 2013, the RICOH THETA was the world’s first 360-degree*2, single-shot camera, enabling users to express themselves in new and unique ways. 360-degree still photos and videos redefined photography by giving the viewer the ability to control what he or she sees in a scene. In addition, the resulting 360-degree images were easily shared with others, allowing them to virtually experience a scene as if they were there.
Today, the RICOH THETA cameras are being used for a broad range of consumer and business applications, ranging from documenting vacation memories to photojournalism, law enforcement, real estate listings and virtual tours, and much more.
*1. Other devices are required, including the separate wireless display adapter.
*2. In the consumer products category, a camera capable of capturing fully spherical scenes surrounding the user in one shot. (as
of October, 2013 investigated by Ricoh)
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