Review of RICOH THETA 360 Image Hosting Site For Businesses

I use the RICOH theta360.biz hosting service for THETA images with a free account to test web sites I build for fun. Since I’m a subscriber, I received an email in Japanese letting subscribers know that there is a new set price offering in addition to the per pageview offering and the free offering.

Monthly pricing ranges from $45 for 100,000 pageviews to $450 for 1,000,000 pageviews. In addition to the pageview limits at each price range, the $45/month plan has a limit of 20 players. Each player can display multiple images. See the examples below to understand what a player is. The $450/month plan is limited to 500 players.

I use a free plan limited to 1 player, 500 pageviews, and 50 images. The free plan is intended for testing. It’s a cool platform and worth the time taken to evaluate it.

About a year ago, I created a mockup of a used car marketing system using the free account. It only took me about an hour. I created the demo to encourage @jcasman and my son to help me finish the Raspberry Pi controller bits to take the images of the car with a single-purpose standalone portable system. My intent was to use the theta360.biz API to upload and manage the images. Sadly, the two other people on the team (my son and @jcasman) pulled out of the challenge before we were able to win a hackathon :frowning: Here’s an example of the system we were working on. I also finished the Raspberry Pi controller prototype, but did not connect it to the theta360.biz API. Though, I’m now thinking of doing this again with an improved interface based on JavaScript, not the SDL graphics system in the video.

As part of the fun community project, I wrote a review of the theta360.biz features and API that I then published in September 2016 for our Ecosystem subscribers. With the new changes to the set price, I took another look at the system and I thought I’d share my review with the community.

RICOH’s commercial 360 image hosting system is designed for businesses. It is optimized for use by staff in industries such as real estate, travel, and automotive sales. The system is in large-scale production use in Japan by large companies. People in the US can sign up for a free trial for evaluation purposes.

Feature Overview

  • Browser-based editor and site manager. No download required
  • Grouping of 360 images into a single site with navigation
  • Navigation from within the sphere to another sphere
  • Text and labels can be attached inside of the sphere
  • API access
  • Scrolling through spheres
  • Multi-role for different staff (technical admin, clerical updates)

Feature Examples

Site Builder

Graphical tool to easily build and host sites. Suitable for use by non-technical staff.

Live Site Demo

Map Builder

THETA image spheres can be attached to a navigational map with drag and drop ease.

Upload a catalog of 360 images that can be attached to your map with your mouse. The map can be areas of a car, the floor plan of a house, the rooms in a restaurant, or other.

Field of view can be shown on map.

Analytics

There is also a decent amount of analytics included, with data represented graphically. Data can be downloaded in CSV format for use in spreadsheets. Time periods can be customized. This should be useful for many different types of business applications.

Pageviews

Analytics Export

Date and Sphere Ranges

Security and Roles

The site also allows basic security roles and permissions to be easily configured by the administrator. This allows quick setup for larger teams with various roles.


User Management

API Authentication and Control

Sample image POST.

Feature Overview Screencast (Japanese Site)

More Information

Sign Up for Free Trial Account


FAQ (from theta360.biz site)

Q: What is THETA 360.biz? How is it different to theta360.com?

A: In both theta360.com and THETA 360.biz, 360 degree images taken by customers using RICOH THETA are stored in our cloud server and RICOH provides a viewer that can show the images on the customer’s website.

theta360.com is a service for personal use for which you can view 360 degree images, share the images with friends, and other features. THETA 360.biz is a service for people who use the 360 degree image for business.

THETA 360.biz has functions perfect for use in business, such as a tour function and an annotation function.

Q: Can it be used for any kind of web site creation service?

A: Apply for the free plan and confirm that you can use it.

Q: What image type can be used for the floor plan?

A: JPEG/PNG/GIF Images from 100 x 80 px to 1,000 x 800 px can be pasted.

##Q: What image format can be used to erase the tripod at the bottom?
A: JPEG/PNG/GIF Images from 50 x 40 px to 500 x 400 px can be pasted.

I just got a response from RICOH regarding my question about buying the service from the US using the servers in Japan. No go right now. :frowning: :theta_s:

This is THETA 360 Biz sales support team from Ricoh Company Limited in
Japan.
Thank you very much for your inquiry regarding RICOH THETA 360 Biz.

We regret to say, new RICOH THETA 360 biz price list is available to users
located in Japan only so we cannot provide same services for country other
than Japan.
We are under consideration to expand our international reach.

We are deeply sorry for the inconveniences and we appreciate for your
understanding.

Sincerely,
THETA 360 Biz Sales Support Team

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