Ricoh has announced the second annual developers contest soliciting applications for apps and gadgets that utilise the RICOH THETA camera, which can take 360-degree, fully spherical images or videos in one capture. Registration will be open April 1 through August 10, 2016. Those registered have until August 31 to submit their final apps and gadgets. Applicants will get early access to the new platform, which is optimised for cloud-based applications leveraging the Internet of Things (IoT).
Held as part of Ricoh’s 80th anniversary celebration, this year’s contest challenges developers to create innovative apps and gadgets that work in conjunction with RICOH THETA, including those that allow the use of RICOH THETA in a cloud-based environment as enabled by the new IoT platform. Winners of the contest will receive a trip to Tokyo for the awards ceremony, and the First Prize winner will get one million yen.
“In this age of the IoT where many objects are connected to cloud, the value of making data and API ‘open’ has been increasing steadily. Open environment also helps drive innovation,” said Dr. Ken Sakamura, chair judge of this contest and Professor of Interfaculty of Initiative in Information Studies at University of Tokyo. “Globally, there is a trend to adopt open API to enable the control of products from outside, however, this trend is still small in Japanese market. In this contest, an early bird access to cloud API for RICOH THETA will be available to the contestants. So I look forward to seeing the contest receive submissions that mash up things and the camera with novel IoT ideas”.
RICOH THETA’s ability to capture imagery from all directions with a single capture means that it is an ideal device for providing content to applications that benefit from the emerging IoT age, in which virtually all devices are connected. The new IoT platform makes it possible for developers to efficiently and cost-effectively build cloud-based apps, which typically require significant expertise in cloud services and servers and a longer development time. Applicants get first access to the beta version of this platform and a cloud API, which will be released as a BaaS (Backend as a Service)*1 for RICOH THETA.
*1 BaaS (Backend as a Service) is a type of cloud computing that provides app developers with shared functions such as authentication and management of users and equipment, push notifications, and SNS linking through the internet. App developers can incorporate these functions easily through the use of cloud API (Application Programming Interface) and SDK (Software Development Kit).