#TechTipThursday: Ricoh Theta 360° Camera

The Digital Education Collaborative may be synonymous with Canvas support but has so much more to offer the Longwood University community!  We have a variety of instructional technologies, such as our new 360° cameras, that can help foster a positive and stimulating learning environment. The Ricoh Theta 360° uses dual lenses to capture a full spherical image or video of the surrounding area. Much like most hand held devices the Theta is portable and easy to use. You can also download the accompanying app to your mobile device which enables you to control the camera or save images and videos directly. The DEC currently has the Ricoh Theta S and the Ricoh Theta SC in our inventory. The Theta SC allows for still images and videos, while the Theta S has the added functionality of live streaming in 360° video.

To capture images you can either use the controls directly on the camera or you can download the accompanying app (free) as a wireless remote to capture images or record video. The biggest advantage when using the app to control the camera is that you can capture an unobtrusive image. For instance, if you were to hold the camera in your hand when capturing an image it will also capture you as it is recording a full 360° view of the area.

To view the image in true 360° you will need software that supports 360° images. Both Android and iOS devices support 360° images which is especially useful as you can create a virtual reality immersive experience by inserting the device in Google Cardboard. For desktops, there are many free software programs that support 360° images; additionally, Ricoh Theta has its own 360° image viewer. 

Advantages of 360° imaging in education:

  • Create Virtual Tours of places that students cannot visit;
  • Creating 360° images with hotspot software to create interactive instructional content;
  • Live casting from classroom or other locations;
  • Fully immersive instructional videos.

Check out this cool video we shot using the 360° camera! To learn more about 360° cameras and how to integrate them in your teaching and/or learning experiences at Longwood, please contact us directly.

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