Having even found their way into the presence of the President of the United States, Ricoh and their 360-degree cameras are charging forward with the goal to provide accessible and functional hardware for the 360-degree format. Technology is emerging from every direction as the format grows, but Ricoh is still attempting to keep up with the competition. Announced via press release and making an appearance at CES 2017 this week, Ricoh has created a camera capable of recording and livestreaming 360-degree video for a full, continuous 24 hours.
Ricoh will be offering the camera only in development kit form initially, allowing developers the opportunity to create software that could benefit various industries. This is a smart way to expose companies to such a technology and, in specific use cases, will ease the mind of casual consumers with a potentially flush software ecosystem when they get their hands on it.
The development kit for the RICOH R, in addition to 24 hr continuous recording, will also livestream 360-degree video in 2k resolution with 30 frames per second for a full 24 hours as well. Livestreams are output via USB or HDMI, while recordings are saved on a lightweight micro SD card. Files are saved as MP4s in H.264 format with an estimated file size of approximately 120/MB per minute. An AC adapter is required — the camera does not have a built-in battery.
The dev kit will come with the camera, a stand, a downloadable SDK, image-control tools, and source code. The RICOH R camera stitches the images into a fully spherical format inside the camera body itself, whereas the Theta requires output to a separate software on PC or mobile to become fully 360.
One of the first industries that may leap at the opportunity this type of device affords is security. Though not likely a cost friendly solution, having constant 360-degree surveillance could make premium security systems a great deal more appealing. Live event production companies already have solutions they’ve put together for lengthy performances and sporting contests but the RICOH R may ease some of the stress of setup. With time, many third-party companies will likely find plenty use for an uninterrupted stream that covers a fully spherical space.
You can find more information on Ricoh’s official website. UploadVR will update as new developments come in regarding the RICOH R at CES.
Correction: A previous version of this story originally stated that the RICOH R detailed here was the first camera capable of 24-hour continuous 360-degree livestreaming and recording. That information was provided by Ricoh and we’ve since amended the story due to the fact that the ALLie Camera from IC Real Tech launched with these features back in April of 2016 and other cameras already on the market include similar features as well.