Comments From the Judging Committee
Professor of Interfaculty Initiative in Information Studies, the University of Tokyo
RICOH THETA Developers Contest was open to the world. Submission window was open only for about two months, but it received attention from all over the world and there are many submissions. Those who seem to know RICOH THETA inside and out handed in very convincing submissions. Some others are practical and can be used immediately, and there are eye-opening submissions.
The main judging theme is “innovative.” Prizes were given based on the judging criteria: creativity (originality), future outlook (potential, extensibility) and benefit (practicality).
“Holobuilder” adds stamps and comments to RICOH THETA photos. Such a function is common for 2D photos. But the vision of incorporating the function for spherical image handling, moreover the feeling of affixing stereoscopic stamp in space is innovative. I feel the potential in this direction. Holobuilder received the Grand Prize for its implementation using open components, the degree of perfection and practicality as well.
“360HDR” won the Section Award since it provides a function everyone wanted for RICOH THETA. It is regarded as a normal evolution rather than innovation, but it has a high degree of perfection and is useful. “3D Panorama Image Measuring System PanoMeasure2” is exceptionally practical utilizing RICOH THETA and genuinely for professional. If it becomes an easy-to-use application, it may be handy for general population, e.g., “It can measure the size of a certain space necessary at home while you are at a furniture store.”
“Ambisonics360 Microphone” solves the issue immediately raised when viewing spherical movie taken using RICOH THETA, a 360-degree video combined with audio, on HMD (Head-Mounted Display). The strong will to tackle the difficult issue and the potential for the future were recognized.
Some submissions with different viewpoints from the judging criteria - highlighting on “cute” and “interesting,” so to speak, came up in conversation at the judging meeting, and “Honorable Mention” was hastily established. The representative of the recipients is “Nakayoshi BOX” which captures the faces of the people facing each other at the same time. This is fun to use among intimate people. (If they are not intimate, it must be very awkward.) The concept of making extra steps to implement only this function using a big box is exactly innovative. This submission won the Honorable Mention as it was a total surprise.
The contest will be held in the future, and we plan to add the categories of “cute/interesting” to the judging criteria for the next contest. Nevertheless, we may still see submissions beyond our expectations - I felt such “jack-in-a-box”- like potential through this first contest.
Principal Investigator (Science Communication), National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation (Miraikan), Japan
I enjoyed very much attending the judging meeting. Overall, many submissions are highly practical and useful, and I want to use some of them immediately. For example, “ CliPETA” which can remove the image of the photographer provides a function I want for RICOH THETA. “360HDR” might as well be the default application bundled with the camera. “PanoMeasure2” is very innovative. “Kirari NINJA” has potential and extensibility. It also allows you to take beautiful photos. I think it can extend the range of our recognition and activities. I wish I could see more grand scale proposals in the contest. Steve Jobs once said “the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do.” I hope more crazy people will show up through this kind of opportunities.
CEO/Director, NAKED Inc.
I take photos myself, and found out that photos taken using RICOH THETA are completely different in some ways.
Ordinary cameras cut scenes for what we see, but RICOH THETA captures 360-degree view. This made me wonder in the beginning what it is all about, how I can approach this and what the right answer would be.
Through this contest, I thought about the potential of RICOH THETA again, and realized that the photos taken using RICOH THETA are not the same as so-called traditional photos for appreciation, but as the ones with different possibility.
For example, if various types of bulk data such as GPS is embedded into photos, they are not just interesting, but they seem to provide different types of visual fun and potential.
I’ve felt massive potential in embedding something in photos. Some submissions are practical enough to be used immediately. Some seem to have extensibility and potential. I enjoyed reviewing the submissions. I hope a new direction of RICOH THETA will be found in the future.
French Art Journalist
I had a great time judging for the RICOH THETA Developers Contest. The submissions are creative, innovative and truly wonderful. Today 360-degree world can be just seen, but I think it will be felt through the five senses in the future. Sharing is very important. And sharing the 360-degree view of where you currently are with your friends and family is a very contemporary and fun thing to do. It is exciting that the photos and movies of where we cannot go and what we could not see can be taken now thanks to RICOH THETA.
Submissions are from all over the world. Some are cute, some are serious, and some are practical enough to be used for building construction work immediately. Let’s create more fun by using RICOH THETA.