Ricoh has demonstrated a rather wacky omnidirectional camera prototype at Japan's CP+ camera trade show. The new camera can shoot entire 360-degree panoramas in one single button press and then send them direct to your smartphone over Wi-Fi.
It uses a pair of 180-degree lenses to capture images, with the camera then combining the two shots to make one single round image. Zooming in lets you view the shot up or down; zooming out transforms it into a big 360-degree image.
The iPhone implemented a fairly easy panorama system into its iOS 6 update and plenty of Android devices already have the technology. However, none is able to shoot a 360-degree snap in one, nor can many cameras send the shot straight to your phone with the ease Ricoh hopes to achieve.
Ricoh told tech website DigInfo.tv that the project began "with the idea that, if taking spherical panoramic photos was easy, the results might be fun".
The camera is little more than a prototype at the moment but Ricoh says that if people enjoy the idea it might try to commercialise it. It also plans to try to add video capture technology to the omnidirectional snapper.
“This is a project we’re discussing with staff at art colleges," Ricoh revealed. "We think this technology could also be presented as a 'panorama ball', where the pictures are stuck on to a sphere.”