Building on the success of the Theta, one of last year's best 360-degree cameras, Ricoh has announced the Ricoh R — a camera designed for long spherical live-streams.
Under the new "ruggedized" chassis are internals that mark an improvement on the predecessor in almost every way. The output stream is at 2K and 30 frames per second. The video can be stitched from the two fisheye lenses in real-time and use the EPF (Equirectangular Projection Format) standard for spherical streams. You can output the stream through HDMI or USB as well as stream directly to an SD card for offline use. For live-streaming, Ricoh says you'll be able to run a stream for a full 24-hours as long as you supply power.
While still not quite photo-realistic VR, it gets close. The Ricoh R should make for a great way to stream 360 videos without spending thousands of dollars.
Developer kits are expected to ship later in 2017.