Ricoh's plans for expanding its platform with first- and third-party plug-ins seem to be coming to fruition as the RICOH THETA Plug-in Store went live earlier this week. At present, the store contains a total of eight plug-ins of which three have been developed by Ricoh – Wireless Live Streaming, Automatic Face Blur (Beta), and File Cloud Upload. The remaining five third-party solutions include Device WebAPI developed by NTT DoCoMo, MESH by Sony Corporation, EVRYPLACE Sync, HoloBuilder 360 SiteStream, and Fita.
The launch of the Plug-in Store comes as part of the Ricoh's Partner Program which was first detailed at CES back in January. Roughly four months after the initial unveiling, Ricoh introduced the THETA V camera API and SDK, inviting third-party Android developers to bring their ideas to the platform. Last month the Plug-in Partner Program was also enriched with a website designed to offer online support and easy access to various tools, and now the first RICOH THETA V plug-ins are available for download by consumers to expand their camera's functionality. Specifically, Ricoh's Wireless Live Streaming plug-in allows users to live-stream 360-degree videos on YouTube, while the File Cloud Upload plugin allows for automatic uploads of images captured with the RICOH THETA Va camera to Google Photos. Finally, a third plug-in called Automatic Face Blur (Beta) adds facial recognition capabilities to the THETA V, primarily for the purpose of blurring faces for privacy and security reasons.
As for the third-party plug-ins, firstly, NTT DOCOMO's Device WebAPI solution aims to improve the existing WebAPI plug-in developed by GGlue with the ability to control the RICOH THETA V's built-in sensors and collect information. Next, Sony's MESH plug-in allows users to control the RICOH THETA V using MESH blocks without the need of a dedicated smartphone application, while EVRYPLACE Sync developed by the company with the same name gives THETA V users the ability to upload images to the EVRYPLACE app. A more niche plug-in called HoloBuilder 360 SiteStream aims to give construction companies the ability to view construction sites in 360-degrees via livestreaming, and finally, Everywoah's Fita plug-in expands the camera's capabilities with Google Cloud Storage media uploads over a wireless local area network. The plug-ins are available for download by owners of the RICOH THETA V 360-degree camera via the source link below, and the Japanese imaging company says that it will expand and improve the platform further for consumers and businesses alike.