Based on interviews with RICOH THETA product and business managers and discussions with hundreds of VR camera developers, these are the top 4 industries making money with 360 cameras:
- Used Car Sales
- Training and Tourism
- Real Estate
Use: Construction site documentation
Benefit: Reduces labor costs by 5x to 10x compared to using standard camera. Increases quality of visual documentation by capturing scenes that people would normally miss.
Workflow #1: Person walks site with camera automatically taking pictures every 5 to 10 seconds. Pictures are automatically moved from camera to mobile app or laptop with Wi-Fi. Pictures are automatically uploaded to cloud-based construction documentation system
Workflow #2: Person walks site with camera taking 360 video. The video is later processed to extract still image frames which are automatically uploaded to documentation system.
Use: High volume documentation of the interior of used cars.
Benefit: Reduces time taken to document car interior by 6x. Improves experience of used car buyer by allowing them to rotate image of car interior with a web browser.
Workflow: Staff puts THETA inside of car on small tripod with pre-set height. Staff uses mobile app or laptop to take picture using Wi-Fi. Application automatically sends images to mobile or laptop for verification. Application pushes 360 image to web page template in the cloud.
Use: Virtual tours, virtual experience, and social media
Benefit: Increase audience engagement
Workflow: Take images or video with custom mobile app that automatically connects to cloud-based training or social media systems to send experience to audience.
Use: High volume virtual tours of homes, apartments, and commercial buildings
Benefit: Enables real estate agents to create 360 tours of the inside of properties easily and quickly.
Workflow: Camera is put on tripod. Custom mobile app takes pictures over Wi-Fi. Agent moves tripod different areas. App pushes images up to cloud-based system.
All four of these industries are using still images from the RICOH THETA. Innovation in these four industries may come from new technology to accomplish the following:
- Take 360 video of a construction or real estate site while the person is walking and extract individual still image frames from the video;
- Integration with additional cloud-based systems to improve the workflow;
- In-camera processing to optimize media for mobile transmission to the cloud
- In-camera processing for object or people recognition
- In-camera text-to-speech and speech-to-text
If you want to prototype your in-camera processing idea, a great start is to join the RICOH THETA Dream and Build Plug-in Contest