Ricoh spin-out Vecnos launches wand-like IQUI 360-degree camera
Back in March, we brought news that Ricoh had spun out its Theta 360-degree camera division into its own entity called Vecnos Inc. Now the first product from that new company is being readied for release, the oddly named IQUI.
In case you're wonderful, Vecnos has thoughtfully provided pronunciation assistance – the neuralyzer-like 360- degree photo and video wand is pronounced ee:kwee. And it's designed to be used alongside the already launched IQUISPIN mobile app for iOS and Android.
Usefully, the app is able to convert a 360-degree stills image into a short MP4-format video clip of a relatively small file size, which makes your content easier to share on social media, in an email or even in a text message. A range of creative effects like "exploding fireworks and fluttering cherry blossoms" can be added to these mini-vids before being shared. Dynamic Motions are available too, which can give the viewer the feeling of moving through the image, or cater for zooming out from right inside the shot to a "tiny planet" point of view.
From October 1, a new Filter function will be available in the app, allowing users to tweak colors, brightness, contrast and more. And though the app is open to folks who don't have an IQUI camera, those who do will get exclusive functions and the ability to remove the IQUISPIN watermark from captured content.
The camera can capture up, down and all-around videos as well as stills, but you're limited to 30 seconds each. Video resolution is 3,840 x 1,920 at 30 frames per second. Light sensitivity is just ISO100 - 1,600 though, so shooting after dark might be a noisy affair, the 720-mAh Li-ion battery should be good for about a hundred stills or 30 minutes of video per charge over USB-C, there's a built-in microphone, and 802.11n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.2 are onboard too.
Operating the camera seems pretty straight forward. There's a power button, a shutter button and a mode button for selection stills or video shooting. The IQUI features a proprietary quad-lens setup comprising three side lenses and one more on top. It's wirelessly connected to a smartphone running the companion app over Wi-Fi, and will automatically transfer photos and videos after they are captured for editing, safe storage or sharing – though it does have 14.4 GB of internal storage too.
"IQUI is the first 360-degree camera to achieve this level of compactness, while maintaining a high standard of visual quality and excellent usability," said Vecnos CEO, Shu Ubukata. "Our goal is for this revolutionary product to bring the fun and inspiration of 360-degree photography to a wider range of consumers."
The 5.5-in (139.7-mm)-long, 2.2-oz (60-g) camera goes on sale from October 1 for US$299, with champagne gold being your only color choice. It will ship with a USB-C cable, stand and soft case. A charging case will follow in November for an additional $98.
Product page: IQUI