Winner of Ricoh's second Theta dev contest will receive cash, trip to Tokyo

ricoh theta second developers contest s 5 with m15
Ricoh is looking for a few good developers to build apps and gadgets for its Theta 360-degree cameras. As an enticement, the company is holding its second-annual developers contest, from April 1 to August 10, in which the winner will receive a trip to Tokyo, Japan, and a cash prize of 5 million yen, or approximately $44,719.

The Theta offers an open API and SDK that let developers build iOS or Android apps that utilize the camera, or integrate features into their existing apps, such as shooting spherical photos and videos, manual shooting controls, or view the 360-degree files. In this contest, applicants will receive access to the latest platform, which Ricoh says is “optimized for cloud-based applications leveraging the Internet of Things (IoT).” An example could be a smart home security app that uses the Theta or Theta S as a security camera.

“In this age of IoT, where many objects are connected to the cloud, the value of making data and an API ’open‘ has been increasing steadily. Open environments also help drive innovation,” said Dr. Ken Sakamura, a professor at the Univeristy of Tokyo who is the contest’s head judge. “Globally, there is a trend to adopt open APIs to enable the control of products from outside a company. However, this trend is still small in the Japanese market. Through this contest, early bird access to the cloud-based API for Ricoh Theta will be available to the contestants, so I look forward to seeing the contest receive submissions that mash up the camera with new apps, new gadgets and novel IoT ideas.”

The open software is important Ricoh, in that it could turn Theta into a successful platform and help increase adoption, as well as diversify its usefulness. While the immediate use is to shoot and share 360-degree photos and videos, Ricoh is hoping third-party developers could expand on the camera’s untapped potential. Hopefully we will see some cool applications, but the contest is already hinting at how the Theta could fit into an IoT world.


Photographers can now customize the layout of Lightroom Classic controls

Tired of scrolling past Lightroom tools that you don't use? Adobe Lightroom Classic now allows users to reorganize the Develop panel. The update comes along with new sharing options in Lightroom CC, and updates to the mobile Lightroom app.

Intel's dedicated GPU is not far off -- here's what we know

Did you hear? Intel is working on a dedicated graphics card. It's called Arctic Sound and though we don't know a lot about it, we know that Intel has some ex-AMD Radeon graphics engineers developing it.

2020 Toyota Supra caught hiding in a trailer without a shred of camouflage

Toyota's plan to once again lure enthusiasts into showrooms involves bringing back the Supra, one of its most emblematic nameplates. Here's what we know so far about the upcoming coupe, which Toyota is developing jointly with BMW.

Rockstar adjusts ‘Red Dead Online’ in-game economy in response to complaints

Red Dead Online has been catching flack for its unbalanced in-game economy. Now developer Rockstar has announced adjustments to the game, increasing the amount of cash and the number of gold bars that players earn for various activities.

The best mirrorless cameras pack all the power of a DSLR, minus the bulk

Mirrorless cameras offer a lot of photography firepower, inside a compact body. Explore the best mirrorless cameras, from the pro-level to the beginner-friendly shooters, in this guide.

Photography News: Startup redesigns tripod heads ‘inside out’ for more flexibility

Well, this doesn't look like the ball heads that we've seen before. Instead of designing a tripod ball head with a small cutout, the Colorado Tripod Company created one with most of the ball exposed, allowing for more possible angles.

MIT science photographer isn’t an artist, but her work could fill galleries

Felice Frankel is an award-winning photographer, but she doesn't consider herself an artist. As a science photographer, she has been helping researchers better communicate their ideas for nearly three decades with eye-catching imagery.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Folding canoes and ultra-fast water filters

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!

Leica targets street photographers with a pricey camera bundle

Described by the camera company as "your perfect companion in the city," Leica's Street Kit comprises a Leica CL camera body, a 23mm (35mm full-frame equivalent) F2 lens, batteries, a handgrip, and a black leather carrying strap.
Product Review

Meet Z6, the breakout star in Nikon's new mirrorless lineup

The Nikon Z6 is the sibling to the new mirrorless Z7 -- but for some photographers, the cheaper Z6 may be the better option. Read where the $2,000 camera beats the $3,400 one (and where it doesn’t) in our Nikon Z6 review.
Social Media

Snapchat facial recognition could soon power a new portrait mode, code suggests

Digging into Snapchat's code suggests a handful of upcoming camera features, including a portrait mode. The feature appears to use facial recognition A.I. to blur the background. The code also suggests an updated camera interface.
Social Media

#ThrowbackThursday is only the start: Instagram hashtags for every day of the week

Not getting your hashtag fill with #ThrowbackThursday or #ManCrushMonday? Here's a list of some of the more popular Instagram hashtags, so you can outfit your next post with the proper tag, regardless of what day it is.

From DSLRs to mirrorless, these are the best cameras you can buy right now

From entry-level models to full-frame flagships, many cameras take great photos and video. The best digital cameras, however, push the industry forward with innovative sensors and improved usability, among other things. Here are our…
Social Media

Instagram could be making a special type of account for influencers

Instagram influencers fall somewhere between a business profile and a typical Instagram, so the company is working on developing a type of account just for creators. The new account type would give creators more access to analytical data.