Following an announcement from earlier this year, Japanese imaging company Ricoh has launched the core development tools for creating Android plugins for its Rico Theta V 360-degree camera. That's according to a recent press release from the company, published April 19. That means that developers on the Android platform will now be able to create plugins that work alongside the camera to increase the number of possible uses with new functionality and features. As alluded to above, this release is part of the company's "RICOH THETA Plug-in Partner Program," which was announced at CES back in January. For those who might be interested, downloads for both the SDK and API can be found via the button below.
As is often the case with new development tools, the SDK and API included here are fairly extensive. That's because the goal is to allow those who will be using the 4K-capable 360-degree camera to customize the software to meet their own individual needs. Android, meanwhile, actually forms the basis for the software within the camera itself, making it the obvious choice platform for the first release of the partner program. That doesn't, of course, mean that this is an open source API or SDK, though. So those who download the tools will need to ensure that they aren't broaching the rules of use. In the meantime, as of this writing, there is also at least one other caveat to those. Namely, the SDK only contains a single unspecified example project in its current version. That means that those who are new to working with the platform are likely to have at least some difficulty getting started.
With regard to the camera hardware in question, this is intended for use with the Ricoh Theta V, which launched last year for $429. It's the first model created by the company which actually supports plugins. Technical specifications for the camera include the ability to shoot video in 4K resolution. That's recorded by default to its approximately 19GB of onboard storage - allowing for around 4,800 4K photos or 40 minutes of 4K footage. The battery in the camera is rated to last for around an hour of continuous 4K video capture or 260 photos.