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RICOH to hold the RICOH THETA Dream and Build Contest:

an open-application competition for designers of new plug-in software for RICOH THETA-series 360-degree cameras

March 20, 2019

TOKYO, March 20, 2019 - RICOH COMPANY, LTD. will hold an open-application contest for the creation of new applications for RICOH THETA-series 360-degree cameras. This competition is being created to encourage the development of new plug-in software, by calling for innovative, flexible ideas from designers around the world. Entries will be accepted from March 20 to July 23, 2019 (Pacific Standard Time).

The original RICOH THETA model was introduced in 2013 as the world's first 360-degree camera*. Because of its ability to capture 360-degree images, it will provide a wide range of applications in various fields — a new imaging device with tremendous potential for today's Internet of Things (IoT) society. In 2014, RICOH publicly released the Application Program Interface (API) and Software Development Kit (SDK) — used to interface THETA-series products with smartphones — to assist outside designers, both companies and individuals, in their software development. RICOH has already held two contests to gather new ideas from around the world, and, ultimately, to further expand the possibilities of 360-degree cameras.

The RICOH THETA V (launched in 2017) and the latest model, the RICOH THETA Z1 (which records high-quality, high-resolution 360-degree still images at approximately 23.0 effective megapixels) both incorporate an Android™-based operating system (OS) to enhance their expandability. Since they operate on applications developed for use with Android models, users can more easily and flexibly customize camera operations, from business-oriented functions specific to particular industries, to unique, creative functions more focused on personal use. Development of these applications, or plug-ins, has been encouraged since 2018, following the introduction of the RICOH THETA Plug-in Partner Program and the opening of the RICOH THETA Plug-in Store, where users can download plug-ins.

The new contest invites software designers from around the world to apply their creativity in developing new plug-ins for RICOH THETA-series models. Entries will be judged in four categories: Most Innovative to evaluate innovation value; Most Practical, to evaluate practicality; Most Inspiring to evaluable originality; and Judge's Freestyle Favorite, in which each judge can express their own preference. The top three winners in each category will be awarded prizes such as the latest VR headset cameras, drones, tablet computers and gift cards. The RICOH THETA V will be provided free of charge to the top 10 participants who don't currently own a RICOH THETA-series model. Whether a user of a RICOH THETA-series model or not, every software designer is encouraged to join the contest and try out their ideas and design skills.

Details of this contest are described below:

The first mass-produced consumer product capable of capturing the scene around, above and below the device, including the photographer, in a fully spherical image (as of October 2013, based on RICOH research).

Contest Overview

Applicant qualifications People 13 years or older are eligible, as an individual, a group or a corporation. There are no restrictions on nationality and/or place of residence (except for certain countries and areas). All participants must consent to the contest terms.
Designated RICOH products RICOH THETA Z1 and RICOH THETA V
Application method Fill in an entry form and send it to the address designated on the exclusive website. The application must be submitted prior to the submission deadline.
Description of application
  • Android-based application exclusively designed for use with designated RICOH THETA-series models
  • Shinobu Fujiki, General Manager, THETA Business Division, Smart Vision Business Unit, RICOH COMPANY, LTD.
  • Michael Usami, Ph.D., Senior Management, Product Planning, THETA Development Division, Smart Vision Business Unit, RICOH COMPANY, LTD.
  • Shigeki Takeuchi, Manager, Sales & Marketing, THETA Business Division, Smart Vision Business Unit, RICOH COMPANY, LTD.
  • Takeharu Tone, THETA Product Marketing and Engineering Manager, Ricoh Innovations Corp.
  • Jesse Casman, co-organizer of
  • Craig Oda, co-organizer of
Awards and prizes Three winners will be named in each of the four categories: Most Innovative, Most Practical, Most Inspiring and Judge's Freestyle Favorite.
  • First prize: products with a value of US$800
  • Second prize: products with a value of US$200 to US$500
  • Third prize: Amazon gift cards with a value of US$200 to US$500
(Pacific Standard Time)
  • Entry period: Wednesday, March 20, 2019 to Tuesday, July 23, 2019
  • Announcement of those receiving the RICOH THETA V: Thursday, April 18, 2019
  • Announcement of contest results: Tuesday, July 30, 2019
Detailed information Access the exclusive webpage on the website.
Corporate and product names appearing in this new release are trade names, trademarks or registered trademarks of the respective companies or products.

About Ricoh

Ricoh is empowering digital workplaces using innovative technologies and services enabling individuals to work smarter. For more than 80 years, Ricoh has been driving innovation and is a leading provider of document management solutions, IT services, commercial and industrial printing, digital cameras, and industrial systems.
Headquartered in Tokyo, Ricoh Group operates in approximately 200 countries and regions. In the financial year ended March 2018, Ricoh Group had worldwide sales of 2,063 billion yen (approx. 19.4 billion USD).
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