Ricoh Spins out Vecnos to Focus on Consumer 360-Degree Camera Segment

First product aims to reinvent the selfie for social media natives

Vecnos Inc., the visual revolution company, unveiled its vision to be a leader in the consumer 360-degree camera market and announced its first product, an ultra-compact camera that aims to reinvent the selfie for social media natives. Vecnos is a new startup venture spun out of and funded by Ricoh Company, Ltd.

Vecnos was founded by the core team that designed and launched the pioneering Ricoh Theta 360 camera in 2013. At Vecnos, the team—led by CEO Shu Ubukata—will leverage its expertise in optical and artificial intelligence (AI) technologies to develop new approaches to 360-degree and other specialized cameras, software and apps with a goal of making advanced imaging accessible to and enjoyable for broad consumer audiences.

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“Enabled by advances in technology, combined with new social networking platforms, we are building a new generation of cameras, with our first product designed to reinvent the selfie and be used by a younger consumer,” explained Ubukata. “Our objectives are to combine ease of use with advanced capabilities for shooting, enhancing and sharing images, in beautiful and elegantly designed products that people will want to use. We aim to inspire a new generation.”

Vecnos’ first product will be a 360-degree camera that achieves new levels of miniaturization in a sleek and sophisticated design. A proprietary four-lens optical system, with three lenses on the side, and one on the top, enables the camera to be ultra-slim and pen-shaped. Using the Vecnos app, users can easily enhance and share their images and videos on social media platforms. The 360-degree camera and app will be available in 2020.

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Emerging from Ricoh’s new business development initiatives, Vecnos was founded on the principles of open innovation and leveraging third-party knowledge, said Ricoh Company, Ltd. President and CEO Yoshinori “Jake” Yamashita. He explained: “Ricoh has always been committed to supporting innovation in visual communications. As part of our new business development initiatives, a team led by Shu Ubukata was formed in 2018 to create specialized cameras for a new generation of consumers. Ultimately, we all realized that it made sense for this highly entrepreneurial team to be spun out into its own venture. And with that, Vecnos was born. Ricoh is proud to be the lead investor in a young company with a Ricoh pedigree and a vision to build revolutionary products.”

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