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Pen-sized gadget isn’t a spy cam — it’s a 360 selfie cam from Ricoh spinoff

Sleek and super-compact 360 camera from Vecnos - 記憶を彩る美しい全天球カメラ (60 sec)

The Vecnos camera may look like a miniature spy gadget, but the pen-shaped camera is actually designed for selfies and social media snapshots. It comes from a startup that’s spun off from and funded by Ricoh — and it aims to revolutionize camera technology.

The unnamed device from Vecnos is a 360-degree camera that houses four lenses — but the company isn’t saying much more about the miniature camera taht’s set to be released sometime in 2020. Three of those four lenses are on the sides of the camera, while the fourth is at the top of the pen-shaped device.

Vecnos says the camera is designed for “social media natives” — and as such, it will have an accompanying app that allows users to edit and share photos and videos to various social media platforms.

If the company’s first camera looks a bit out of the ordinary, that’s what Vecnos is going for. The startup is founded on the idea of mixing open innovation with third-party knowledge.

“Enabled by advances in technology, combined with new social networking platforms, we are building a new generation of cameras, with our first product designed to reinvent the selfie and be used by a younger consumer,” Vecnos CEO Shu Ubukata said in a statement. “Our objectives are to combine ease of use with advanced capabilities for shooting, enhancing, and sharing images, in beautiful and elegantly designed products that people will want to use. We aim to inspire a new generation.”

A result of a Ricoh initiative to develop new businesses, the new company is founded by the same team that launched the Ricoh Theta 360 in 2013. The Theta line now has several different models for Ricoh, some basic like the Theta SC2 and others more advanced.

Vecnos is calling itself “the visual revolution company.” If the first camera and the company’s mission is any indication, Vecnos will be a camera company that makes cameras that don’t look much like any traditional cameras.

“Ricoh has always been committed to supporting innovation in visual communications,” said Ricoh Company Ltd. President and CEO Yoshinori “Jake” Yamashita. “As part of our new business development initiatives, a team led by Shu Ubukata was formed in 2018 to create specialized cameras for a new generation of consumers. Ultimately, we all realized that it made sense for this highly entrepreneurial team to be spun out into its own venture. And with that, Vecnos was born. Ricoh is proud to be the lead investor in a young company with a Ricoh pedigree and a vision to build revolutionary products.”

The company hasn’t yet shared full specs or a release date, but expects the camera out sometime this year.

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