BERLIN: JAPANESE DIGITAL IMAGING FIRM Ricoh has unwrapped what it claims is "the world's first mass-produced" 360 degree imaging device at IFA 2013, which captures fully spherical scenes with one shot.
The handheld device named Theta features a proprietary "ultra-small twin-lens folded optical system" that captures the scene around, above and below the device in one shot for fully spherical images.
"Fitting easily in a pocket or the palm of a hand, the slim, lightweight Ricoh Theta is a go-anywhere device suited to confined spaces, the great outdoors and everywhere in between," Ricoh said.
Weighing 95g, the device links up to smartphones so that images can be uploaded via WiFi and viewed in a free Ricoh app. The app allows users to then pinch, swipe or rotate the images they have taken, editing the size, shape and composition if they like before sharing online via social media such as Twitter, Tumblr and Microsoft's Photosynth.
Here's an example of the types of images the device can capture:
Ricoh said the Theta will work with Apple iOS 6.0 devices and newer. Android compatibility is expected before the end of the year.
We're not sure exactly how the technology works yet, but check back soon for a hands-on look at the device in action from the IFA show floor.
The handheld device will be sold for £329 and will go up for pre-order this month in the UK and the US at theta360.com. µ
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