|DPReview Ricoh Theta V hands-on photo. Credit: Jeff Keller.|
Ricoh has just announced a so-called Partner Program for the 360° Ricoh Theta V. Taking advantage of the fact that the Theta V runs the Android operating system, Ricoh is setting up a program that will allow developers to create plug-ins specifically tailored to the camera.
The idea is actually kind of brilliant, as DPReview’s own Dale Baskin explains:
This is interesting because most consumer-grade 360° cameras really don’t do anything unique. What makes them useful is the software (which is why I really liked the Rylo). I think Ricoh is smart to open their platform up to developers as someone may come up with a really interesting feature that could potentially drive sales of the hardware.
What we’re not clear on is to what degree developers will be able to create features from scratch, given that Ricoh uses the word “plug-in” to describe what they’ll be creating. The Partner Program graphic Ricoh released isn’t much help in that department either:
“Based on the Android operating system, the RICOH THETA V provides a user-friendly way for third-parties to not only create apps and software that extend and enhance the capabilities of 360-degree imaging but also new features and functionality for the camera itself,” reads Ricoh’s announcement. “These can include customized capabilities that enhance the RICOH THETA V’s use for specialty applications and in vertical markets.”
The first step is to give developers access to the Theta V API and SDK. And once the apps and plug-ins start flowing, Ricoh will make them available for download through “an online RICOH THETA V partner marketplace where plug-ins can be uploaded and shared.”
We consider this a step in the right direction for Ricoh, and a good reason to → continue…