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Ricoh Theta is world’s first mass-produced 360 degree camera

Ricoh has successfully pushed the ‘world first’ button with the Theta, a pocket camera that’s the first mass-produced camera to take full spherical, 360 degree photos.

The Theta, which is similar in shape and size to a cheap pocket camcorder, uses an “ultra-small twin-lens folded optical system that captures the scene around, above and below the device in one shot for unprecedented, fully spherical images.”

The precise nature of the ‘world first’ is a tad confusing, as evidenced by Ricoh’s description of the Theta as “the world’s first mass-produced imaging device that encapsulates fully spherical scenes with one shot.” Nonetheless, it looks like a neat, innovative gadget.

The camera syncs with smartphones via Wi-Fi to a dedicated app, though unfortunately the app is only available on iPhone 4S and iPhone 5 on iOS 6 and above. Where’s the Android love, guys? There’s 4GB of internal storage, too, and a microUSB port for transferring in the more traditional way.

The app lets you crop, rotate and manipulate the sphperical shots as you please and then share them on Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr or Microsoft Photosynth.

It goes on sale in the UK this month for £329.

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