Ricoh was an early proponent of 360-degree imaging and at CES 2017 they’re testing the waters of 360-degree live-streaming. The company revealed what they’re calling a camera development kit that consists of a camera, camera stand, downloadable software development kit (SDK), image-control tools and source code.
The camera and related items, dubbed the Ricoh R Development Kit, will be available in the spring, though Ricoh has yet to set a price or determine precisely how it will be distributed and who would want to buy it (that’s what it’s using CES for). The hope is that selling it as a development kit will spur users to create tailor-made apps to perfect the camera for specific use cases.
The camera can stream 24 continuous hours of fully spherical, 360-degree video in 2K resolution at 30 fps provided it’s connected to an AC power adapter. Video is stitched in the camera in real-time in the Equirectangular Projection Format. Video is then output via HDMI or USB and can also be saved to microSD card.
The camera has a built in mono mic and you can control it via PC or Mac software when it’s connected via USB. If you’re the tinkering type, you can follow the development of this development kit here.