Developers Contest Winners Announced!


#1

Ricoh Selects the Winning Works of the RICOH THETA × IoT Developers Contest

First Prize Goes to “Shotoku Tamago”

TOKYO, November 7, 2016 – Ricoh today held the awards ceremony of the RICOH THETA x IoT Developers Contest and announced the winning works at the National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation (Aomi, Koto-ku, Tokyo). The contest is part of the events marking the 80th anniversary of Ricoh’s establishment. Among the 54 works of applications from 11 countries and regions, “Shotoku Tamago” by Infocom Technical Planning Office was chosen for the First Prize. “Shotoku Tamago” is a system used for remote communications combining spherical movies and omnidirectional sounds.

Capable of taking 360-degree, spherical images or movies in one shot, RICOH THETA is expected to offer many different uses in the coming IoT society. Based on RICOH THETA’s concept of creating a product through the effort of not only the manufacture alone but with the involvement of the users, the contest extensively sought entries of apps and gadgets that work in conjunction with RICOH THETA, including apps using a new platform for the IoT age, which was provided to the applicants in advance. The following are the winning works and the comments of their entries.

           <table>
              <tr>
                <th class="val_m" style="word-break:normal;" width="30%"><strong>Winning works and registered team name</strong></th>
                <th class="val_m" style="word-break:normal;"><strong>Outline of the works</strong></th>
              </tr>
              <tr>
                <th colspan="2">First Prize </th>
              </tr>
              <tr>
                <td class="val_m" style="word-break:normal;">"Shotoku Tamago" Infocom Technical Planning Office</td>
                <td class="val_m" style="word-break:normal;">The communication system displays images in the direction where a sound comes from, in real-time, by combining 360-degree, spherical movies with omnidirectional sounds.</td>
              </tr>
              <tr>
                <th colspan="2">Second Prize</th>
              </tr>
              <tr>
                <td class="val_m" style="word-break:normal;">"THETA EYE" THETA EYE</td>
                <td class="val_m" style="word-break:normal;">The web service to live stream RICOH THETA's images.</td>
              </tr>
              <tr>
                <td class="val_m" style="word-break:normal;">"360 stream to AR app for image-based lighting and real-time reflections" grigtod<br /><span class="caption">*United Kingdom</span></td>
                <td class="val_m" style="word-break:normal;">The plug-in uses RICOH THETA's 360-degree movies to create IBL<sup>*1</sup> for AR in real-time.</td>
              </tr>
              <tr>
                <td class="val_m" style="word-break:normal;">"360EyeToEar" StrawberrySaurs</td>
                <td class="val_m" style="word-break:normal;">The system converts visual information (a person's face) into audio information and communicates these images using sounds in real-time.</td>
              </tr>
              <tr>
                <th colspan="2" style="word-break:normal;">80th Anniversary Prize</th>
              </tr>
              <tr>
                <td class="val_m" style="word-break:normal;">"Veaver Theta S Mobility Streamer" Team Veaver (from IOK Company)<br /><span class="caption">*South Korea</span></td>
                <td class="val_m" style="word-break:normal;">The app is designed to live stream RICOH THETA's movies on YouTube<sup>TM</sup> and other media.</td>
              </tr>
              <tr>
                <td class="val_m" style="word-break:normal;">"VANISH360" ViRD</td>
                <td class="val_m" style="word-break:normal;">While using RICOH THETA, passersby or the photographer may be unintentionally captured in an image or a movie. This app eliminates this problem.</td>
              </tr>
              <tr>
                <td class="val_m" style="word-break:normal;">"Sun Light Estimator"  Masashi Baba</td>
                <td class="val_m" style="word-break:normal;">The app uses RICOH THETA to create HDR (high dynamic range) images for IBL.</td>
              </tr>
              <tr>
                <td class="val_m" style="word-break:normal;">"Next Number VR360" muteua</td>
                <td class="val_m" style="word-break:normal;">The game involves sequentially capturing tiles that are numbered from 1 to 32 covering a 360-degree image by positioning each tile in front of player's view, and erasing them.</td>
              </tr>
              <tr>
                <td class="val_m" style="word-break:normal;">"i-Ball, an underwater, fully spherical system for real-time image distribution" Tanigawa and Yamagata</td>
                <td class="val_m" style="word-break:normal;">Real-time image distribution system for underwater photography.</td>
              </tr>
              <tr>
                <th colspan="2">Honorable Mention</th>
              </tr>
              <tr>
                <td class="val_m" style="word-break:normal;">"Panomate" Magichour Corporation</td>
                <td class="val_m" style="word-break:normal;">A web service designed to create panoramic images for use in the real estate business from a 360-degree image taken by RICOH THETA.</td>
              </tr>
              <tr>
                <td class="val_m" style="word-break:normal;">"MOUTHETA" virtual dentist center</td>
                <td class="val_m" style="word-break:normal;">The gadget uses an insertion opening on a piece of paper, a plate, or something similar through which RICOH THETA can shoot an intraoral movie.</td>
              </tr>
              <tr>
                <td class="val_m" style="word-break:normal;">"THETA Monitoring System" Tsukasa Horinouchi</td>
                <td class="val_m" style="word-break:normal;">Surveillance system using RICOH THETA.</td>
              </tr>
              <tr>
                <td class="val_m" style="word-break:normal;">"World in a jar &ndash; A world in a Jam Jar" MIRO</td>
                <td class="val_m" style="word-break:normal;">Machine for projecting 360-degree images that have been processed into reversal film slides, onto an object, such as a spherical container.</td>
              </tr>
            </table>

Comments
Ken Sakamura, Chief Judge of the Contest
RICOH THETA × IoT Developers Contest is now in its second year and this year called for applications and gadgets that use RICOH THETA. As the title suggests, this year’s contest was held with the theme of IoT (Internet of Things), a keyword of our time. As a result, there were new types of submissions never seen before, which was especially impressive. The projects submitted included applications which showed a strong collaboration between RICOH THETA and the cloud as well as gadgets for RICOH THETA in which small computers are embedded and work with the cloud. Also, it is great to see so many entries from a diverse number of countries across the globe.

Among the many high quality submissions, the First Prize this year was awarded to “Shotoku Tamago” which made excellent use of the features of RICOH THETA, and is a highly practical solution that has been finished to a very high standard. Second Prizes were awarded to “THETA EYE” which allows you to perform 360-degree live video streaming easily via the cloud, “360 stream to AR app for image-based lighting and real-time reflections” which tackled IBL (Image Based Lighting) in AR to be used widely in applications of RICOH THETA in the future, and “360EyeToEar” which offers a creative idea of converting vision to hearing.

Taking on many challenges intensively is the only way to increase the probability of bringing about innovation. Using prizes to drive innovation by means of a competition, the most famous one being from the X prize foundation, is now widely used and has produced good results. This technique has achieved significant progress in developing automated driving and humanoid robots in the U.S. I hope a new trend for product development will be created together with users by adopting the new ideas developed in this contest.

The general quality of the works has improved markedly when compared to last year. Once again, may I repeat my belief that innovation can only be achieved by regularly repeating challenges. I look forward to a bright future for the RICOH THETA and this competition.

   <table class="nml al_l">
      <tr>
        <td class="val_m" style="word-break:normal;" width="30%">Sponsor</td>
        <td class="val_m" style="word-break:normal;">Ricoh Company, Ltd.</td>
      </tr>
      <tr>
        <td class="val_m" style="word-break:normal;">Co-sponsor</td>
        <td class="val_m" style="word-break:normal;">YRP Ubiquitous Networking Laboratory</td>
      </tr>
      <tr>
        <td class="val_m" style="word-break:normal;">Special Cooperation</td>
        <td class="val_m" style="word-break:normal;">Institute of Infrastructure Application of Ubiquitous Computing, Interfaculty Initiative in Information Studies, Graduate School, the University of Tokyo</td>
      </tr>
      <tr>
        <td class="val_m" style="word-break:normal;">Cooperation</td>
        <td class="val_m" style="word-break:normal;">National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation<br />DWANGO Co., Ltd.</td>
      </tr>
      <tr>
        <td class="val_m" style="word-break:normal;">Judging criteria</td>
        <td class="val_m" style="word-break:normal;">Innovative concept appropriate for IoT<br />Entries will be judged comprehensively based on the points below:<br />&bull; Whether it is innovative (originality)<br />&bull; Whether it represents a vision (promise for the future, can be developed further)<br />&bull; Whether it would yield practical benefits</td>
      </tr>
      <tr>
        <td class="val_m" style="word-break:normal;">Judges</td>
        <td class="val_m" style="word-break:normal;">&bull; Ken Sakamura, Professor of Interfaculty Initiative in Information Studies, the University of Tokyo<br />&bull; Atsushi Ozawa, Principal Investigator(Science Communication), National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation (Miraikan), Japan<br />&bull; Ryotaro Muramatsu, CEO/Director, NAKED Inc.<br />&bull; Toshihiro Shimizu, General Manager of Human Resources Department, DWANGO Co., Ltd.<br />&bull; Shiro Kondo, Representative Director and Chairman of Ricoh</td>
      </tr>
      <tr>
        <td class="val_m" style="word-break:normal;">Awards</td>
        <td class="val_m" style="word-break:normal;">First Prize (one award): 1 million yen<br />Second Prize (three awards): 500,000 yen<br />80th Anniversary Prize (five awards): 300,000 yen<br />Honorable Mention (four awards): 100,000 yen</td>
      </tr>
      <tr>
        <td class="val_m" style="word-break:normal;">Detailed information</td>
        <td class="val_m" style="word-break:normal;">Contest overview, comments, etc.<br />RICOH THETA x IoT Developers Contest website<br /><span class="ico_nml newwindow"><a href="http://contest.theta360.com/index-en.html" target="_blank">http://contest.theta360.com/index-en.html</a></span></td>
      </tr>
    </table>

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The company names and product names described here are the trade names, trademarks or registered trademarks of each company.

About Ricoh
Ricoh is a global technology company that has been transforming the way people work for more than 80 years. Under its corporate tagline – imagine. change. – Ricoh continues to empower companies and individuals with services and technologies that inspire innovation, enhance sustainability and boost business growth. These include document management systems, IT services, production print solutions, visual communications systems, digital cameras, and industrial systems.
Headquartered in Tokyo, Ricoh Group operates in approximately 200 countries and regions. In the financial year ending March 2016, Ricoh Group had worldwide sales of 2,209 billion yen (approx. 19.6 billion USD).
For further information, please visit www.ricoh.com

About YRP Ubiquitous Networking Laboratory (UNL)
UNL promotes research and development in ubiquitous computing and IoT (Internet of Things) technology, in which many objects in our surroundings are embedded with small computer nodes with sensors and actuators that communicate with each other and operate in a cooperative manner to offer sophisticated services to human users.
www.ubin.jp/en

About National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation (Miraikan)
Miraikan (The National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation) highlights cutting-edge science and technology as “new knowledge and innovation” through various methods, such as permanent and special exhibitions, events, on the web. To arouse the interest of the general public, Miraikan is developing methods of expression and communication to present the information in an easy-to-understand manner.
http://www.miraikan.jst.go.jp/en/
*One of its official partners since October 2006, Ricoh is helping the next generation get acquainted with science and technology.

About DWANGO Co., Ltd.
DWANGO Co., Ltd., is an entertainment company striving to create the next generation of network communication throughout various genres such as gaming and music.
Our products include online and packaged games, music services for mobile, and “niconico douga”— a service that has over 50 million registered users and is one of Japan’s largest video sites.


*niconico douga is a registered trademark of the DWANGO Co., Ltd.


#2

I would like to see more information on how the winners connect to the IoT age. As you know, I’m immersing myself in all things IoT and encourage people to check out Learn IoT Community to discuss these ideas around IoT:

  • What is IoT? - a business definition that we can use to talk about building IoT businesses, not philosophical definition
  • How can I learn IoT? - although IoT is a very broad definition, it’s clear that there are common components:
    • sensors like a 360 camera, location (either GPS or IP address), light, vibration, temperature, motion
    • network connection (WiFi, Ethernet, Bluetooth, Lora)
    • central analytics server like RICOH Cloud
  • How can I build an IoT business?

One of the things I’d like to discuss more is the RICOH ecosystem that extends beyond the THETA. As part of my research for an article on promoting the RICOH THETA API, realized that RICOH has $21 billion in sales and is a well-positioned to make a much bigger impact on the IoT space than we’d normally think about if we focused only on the THETA. RICOH already has a lot of connected devices out in the world and could potentially connect printers, copiers, and cameras together into something bigger.


#3

More details on each project here, digging through this now: http://award.contest.theta360.com/index-en.html


#4

The Application URL for Shotoku Tamago seems to be entirely in Japanese.

The video is too:

I think we’ll agree that we can download and put the videos here:

We’ll probably want to add either English voiceover or text.

For the English translation of the application information, are you planning to build a new Contest Winners site or just put the content in this forum? My suggestion is to put it on a standalone site for ease of navigation among the different contest winner applications.


#5

Miro’s “World In a Jar” is a wonderful analog application for sharing and viewing panos. Is there any more information about how to print the slides, and how to project them spherically? I would love to know more, or even better, see a How To article or service which provides these things.


#6

Neil,

I agree, I had my eye on looking into “World In a Jar” more. I’m going to spend some time checking out the project and see what I can learn. Have you tried building something like this? Is it just a personal interest?

Jesse


#7

Jesse,
I’ve built some small image projection things, like a Star Wars themed Pepper’s
Ghost illusion https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uIOM8g0L--0 and a Phone
Pyramid Hologram (like this
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7YWTtCsvgvg example,
which is not my video, but it shows the concept.)
I am a prolific photographer with the Rico Theta S, and you can see some of
my images at 360cities https://www.360cities.net/profile/neilhendrick.
Mostly, I create VR walkthroughs of places in Washington, DC. I’ve been
using a couple different softwares, like Pano2VR, but here is an example
made in HoloBuilder, the Woodrow Wilson House
https://www.holobuilder.com/app/index.html?e=0&p=6462306963685376#player/6462306963685376?options=257

So, I think I could fabricate one of these things, if I could get more
information about how it’s built. It’s a beautiful object, and wouldn’t
these make wonderful Xmas gifts?


#8

Neil,

Wow, fantastic! Do you like 360Cities for hosting? How long have you been using it? I see links (jump points?) in your images – In particular the Washington monument – that go to other people’s content. Do you control that or does 360Cities just add that automatically? (Based on gps location data, I’m assuming.) I see others that navigate to more of your own images; those I’m pretty sure you add yourself.

The Holobuilder virtual tour of the Woodrow Wilson house is great, too. I’m guessing from the same Washington, DC, trip? :slight_smile:

Thank you for sharing the links.

Jesse


#9

Do you like 360Cities for hosting? How long have you been using it?

I’ve only just started using it, so I’m not sure where I’m going to fall,
but so far so good.

I see links (jump points?) in your images – In particular the Washington
monument – that go to other people’s content. Do you control that or does
360Cities just add that automatically?

it’s done automatically. Funnily enough, I submitted almost 600 photos, and
only 17 of them were approved for public use.

The Holobuilder virtual tour of the Woodrow Wilson house is great, too. I’m
guessing from the same Washington, DC, trip? [image: :slight_smile:]

Well, I live in DC, so I get to spend a lot of time visiting great museums
and sites. It’s a wonderful place to take photos.


#10

Neil, these are cool, thanks for the extra info. I’ve translated the main video, I’m working on getting it up on the site soon. Busy schedule this week, but I’m hoping to get it done before Friday.