At CES in Las Vegas today, Ricoh Company Ltd. announced what it terms "the industry's first camera capable of delivering up to 24 continuous hours of fully spherical, 360-degree live video streams."
Ricoh sees many potential applications, including entertainment, gaming, education, scientific research and others. The company will be initially offering the camera, starting this spring, as the Ricoh R Development Kit, enabling third parties to create applications in various environments and industries.
Ricoh notes that the new camera has already been beta tested in diverse applications. These included streaming of a live concert by "a leading entertainment company," and an Internet high school entrollment ceremony that allowed students to participate by live-streaming video on virtual reality (VR) headsets. These tests led Ricoh to conclude that "there is significant business potential for this new technology."
Using "original fully spherical imaging technology," the Ricoh R Development Kit allows live streaming of fully spherical 360-degree video in 2K resolution, at 30 frames per second. Video is stitched within the camera, in real time, to the standard Equirectangular Projection Format. Finished MP4 video is output via HDMI or USB, and recorded onto a micro SD card. Using an AC adapter enables continuous live streaming for up to 24 hours.
The Ricoh R Development Kit includes the camera itself, camera stand, downloadable software development kit (SDK), plus image-control tools and source code.
The new camera is being showcased at South Hall 2F, #26717. More information is available on the Ricoh R Development Kit web site.