Every company is now a software company, this much we know to be true.
If we accept this new truism, then a camera company must be a software company… or at least it must be a digital camera company.
The firm you previously [probably] identified as a camera company Ricoh is actually a Japanese multinational imaging and electronics company with divisions spanning into management solutions, IT services, commercial and industrial printing and industrial systems – plus, it also makes a few cameras.
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Ricoh is now championing open source by launching an initiative that includes an online marketplace where third party developers can upload and share Android-based plug-ins for the firm’s Ricoh Theta V consumer-grade 360-degree camera.
The Ricoh Theta V Partner Program launches in full in Spring 2018.
“This program demonstrates that the Theta V is more than a camera…it is truly a software-defined IoT device,” claims Ricoh.
So what kind of customisations are we talking about here? Developers can create apps and software that extend and enhance the capabilities of 360-degree imaging – plus also new features and functionality for the camera itself.
These can include customised 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 Application Program Interface (API) and Software Development Kit (SDK) and will provide tools and guidance to support plug-in development — as noted by Wataru Ohtani, corporate associate vice president and general manager of the Smart Vision business group at Ricoh Company Ltd.
This camera is being used for consumer and business applications such as documenting vacation memories to photojournalism, law enforcement, real estate listings and virtual tours.