I hear that THETA MIKU app has been updated!?

If you noticed, it is now fully autumn. This is employee sal.
About a week has passed since MIKU THETA camera started shipping and the amount of artistic work with #miku360 hashtag on Twitter has markedly increased allowing me to take a look at everyone’s unique work. It’s so fun recently to see your work and say to myself “Oh, I didn’t know such a cute way of expression existed!”

【theta360.com MIKU THETA images #miku360 list】

Now then, it’s listed in the NEWS but the THETA MIKU app has actually been updated to V1.39.0.
(Both the iOS and Android versions have been released)
So, why is it V1.39.0? There’s no need for me to write about that, right?

Well, I’d like to introduce you how useful this update has made things and how it increases the amount of expression you can have in your artistic work.

●Added characters! More poses!
Winter follows autumn. Snow Miku is for winter, right? That’s why Snow Miku has been added. 55 different poses have also been added.
You can now have Miku sitting on a chair, swimming and jumping.
I think these additions can accommodate everyone’s expansive imagination (or fantasy).
The world view of artistic work will increase all at once!

●Freedom to face Miku in any direction!
Until now, there were times when Miku could not be rotated to face a direction you wanted.
However, it is now possible to have Miku face any direction with her remaining in the same pose.
This means the directions that Miku can be rotated has increased.

(The reason that Miku looks bigger in V1.39.0 is just because we have increased her size to make the explanation easier to understand.
This does not mean she has been enlarged in the update. Sorry.)

●You can concentrate on producing your work!
Until now, a single icon was used to switch between operations for changing the size, moving and rotating Miku. There were times when after moving the background, you would want to move Miku but would instead rotate her by accident resulting in you having to correct this mistake.
There are now 2 icons and their design has also changed to easily see their function. Simply touch each of the icons when you want to move or rotate Miku. You can so easily and intuitively do what you want to do!
This will allow you to concentrate on creating your work.

(Miku appears big in V1.39.0 but it’s just coincidence. Don’t worry about it.)

●It’s also easy to edit masks and blurred images!
Mask editing is essential for artistic work that shows Miku slightly hidden by objects.
Previously, when you wanted to correct the mask range, you had to reset everything and then specify the mask range from the beginning.
It was nerve-wracking work producing something because you had to start over if you made a mistake in setting the mask range.
This is why we have split mask editing into 2 modes, a mode that specifies the mask range and a mode that corrects the mask range.
If your mask is slightly too big, you can just correct it a little!
Also, many people want to move the background while editing the mask so we have added an icon that will quickly allow you to do this when you need it!

This method is the same as for when blurring images.
These changes will allow you to create a mask until your heart’s content!

(Miku somehow appears big in V1.39.0.. She’s so cute, isn’t she!)

●You can produce an image with Miku even if you don’t have MIKU THETA !
This app can only edit 360-degree images shot using MIKU THETA.
Without MIKU THETA, you could only enjoy looking at 3D models of Miku with the app installed on your smartphone…
So we made it possible to install a trial 360-degree image that can be edited on your smartphone from the app.
After installing the app, you will be asked whether you want to install the sample image at the TOP menu screen when first launching the app.
Tap “Yes” to install the sample image onto your smartphone.
After doing so, tap “Edit image” at the TOP menu screen, select the sample image and have fun freely editing the image!

(After installing the sample image, Miku smiles and looks this way. She’s so cute!)
*The sample image can also be installed with the updated app.

This is the sample image.

Post from RICOH THETA. #theta360 - Spherical Image - RICOH THETA

*The sample image was shot inside the “Asakusa Kingyo” store located in Asakusa. We would like to thank the store for allowing us to shoot this image.

If you have deleted the image and want to install it again, you can download it from this blog article.

For those of you who are still hesitant about whether to buy MIKU THETA, if you love Miku, you should definitely install the app.
It’s so fun!

This app allows you to enjoy 360-degree images with Miku.
This update expands the range of your artistic work and allows you to concentrate even more on producing it. It’s so much fun to shoot lots of 360-degree images with MIKU THETA, create lots of artistic work with this app and share them with everyone.

I will be sharing my own work with #miku360 hashtag.
Thank you everyone and enjoy MIKU THETA!

Download the app here.

(Employee sal)


A sample image will be released for the THETA MIKU app

A sample image shot using RICOH THETA SC  Type HATSUNE MIKU will be released.
It is the same sample image downloaded after installing ver.1.39.0, the latest version of the app released today.

*You must download it to the device you intend to use the THETA MIKU app.
*Using Chrome with Android and Safari with iOS, we have saved the image and checked that it works. It may not be possible to use the image correctly when using another method to download it.
 ・For Android, please add permission to allow images to be saved with Chrome
 ・For iOS, after the image to download displays, tap and hold the image and then select “Save Image” from the menu that appears
*Depending on the search method used for the image, it will display in a location for the date it was shot and not at a location showing the latest items.

Download the sample image

Shot at:ASAKUSA KINGYO (Tokyo, Japan)
Shot date:September 13, 2017

Download the app here.


theta360.com “MIKU THETA image list display function” has been released!!

Hi, everyone, it’s been a little while! This is Lemon!

I’m so impressed after seeing so many photos of Miku together at hashtag #miku360(;△;)
Please keep on enjoying your life together with Miku!! Also, be sure to share any photos that you can and show them off to people around you!

Today, I’d like to tell you about something we have set up that you can now use to gather together all your photos in one place that you went to the trouble of tagging.
This applies to images posted after noon today.

【theta360.com MIKU THETA hashtag (#miku360) image list display function】
Click here to display the list.

I would like to introduce the following points in this blog. I apologize for any inconvenience this may cause but could you please check such things as settings for your photos if you think it necessary.

1.When you want to show your images in the image list
2.When you don’t want to show your images in the image list

1.When you want to show your images in the image list

  • Be sure to include “#miku360” hashtag in your comment when posting
  • Set Privacy Settings for the image to “Public”

About how to include the hashtag in your comment when posting

When posting from the THETA basic app, enter “#miku360”. There will be no problems as long as you ensure it can be recognized as a hashtag. It is also OK to place a space in front and after if you are unsure!

About how to set it to “Public”

Set Privacy Settings to “Public” when posting.

This is how everything should look on the screen.

You can change the settings and where to share it later on. Below shows how to change the settings.

Checking and changing the settings on a computer

Checking and changing the settings on a smartphone

2.When you don’t want to show your images in the image list

Your image will not be included in the list if the actions described in part 1 are not performed. Try one of the following.

  • Set Privacy Settings to “Unlisted”
  • Do not add hashtag “#miku360”

When posting as private, the Privacy Settings items should be set to Unlisted.
Everything will be OK as long as the settings are as shown on the screen below.

Privacy Settings are also updated on the display of your image list page.
When you want to view your images together or show them, please definitely check your image list page!
By the way, those people who want to keep their image list private can also select to hide the image list in their profile.

Finally, those people who are interested in photos of Mikudayo used in screenshots should look below! I went to visit the joint project between “Hatsune Miku and Osamu Tezuka exhibition” held at the Osamu Tezuka Manga Museum in Takarazuka City. This is a commemorative photo I took.

Well that’s all for today!!



Shipping started today

Hello. It’s been 2 weeks since Magical Mirai. The blog has been on a short break but we now have some quick news.
From today, the 20th, we started shipping RICOH THETA SC  Type HATSUNE MIKU. It’s great that we were able to quickly start shipping the camera in the latter half of September. We will be shipping the camera in the order they were purchased so please wait just a little longer.

That’s all I wanted to tell you today. However, we will start to update the blog again from now. The updates will come at a relatively relaxed pace but they will be packed with content so stayed tuned.



The THETA MIKU app is a creation tool

This is ubu369.
Finally, we are getting close to the start of the camera sale online and the pre-sales at the Magical Mirai event on September 1 (Friday). All our staff are getting nervous.
Well, this blog was created with the plan to unlock the secrets of “RICOH THETA  Type HATSUNE MIKU” (abbreviated as “THETA MIKU”), the dedicated app developed for “RICOH THETA  Type HATSUNE MIKU”. I, the Ricoh writer Ubukata (ubu369), had a tripartite talk at XVI Inc., the center of developing the app.

Ricoh writer Ubukata (ubu369), XVI Inc. representative Kondo (GOROman), and programmer Sorasu Aoki
Now, about today’s theme. Can I ask you about any secrets of the THETA MIKU app?
I’d first like to say that I think Miku is a symbol that accelerates creators. And the computer itself also accelerates people’s creativity.

What is a creative life using computers?
This is just my basic idea. Computers accelerate and amplify the creativity of people.
In modern terms, it’s like “Augmentation”, right?
People who can’t play a musical instrument can use DTM (Desktop Music) to give a musical performance, people who have bad writing can use a word processor to create exceedingly beautiful writing, and you can use CAD to create drawings. All of these are examples of augmenting a person’s abilities.
In 3D modelling, people who are unable to actually draw a picture can create really amazing models.
People who were not creators in the past borrows the power of computers to become talented as a creator. One example of this is vocaloids. People who cannot sing are able to make a vocaloid sing a song using the lyrics they wrote.
The song was the Achilles’ heel for people composing DTM. They wanted to write songs but who on earth would they get to sing them.
I used MIDI to make music from when I was in high school but, yes, the song was the Achilles’ heel. I could never think about singing myself and recording it.
So, the vocaloid is a very important example of accelerated creativity using computing. You could say that we can now accomplish something that we could not do before.
And that’s where THETA comes into the picture.
That was sudden. (lol)

Encountering THETA
When did you first encounter THETA?
Before THETA went on sale, I saw 360-degree photos from THETA posted to an SNS website.
In 2013, when THETA was released, we had ultra-trend-conscious people do initial field tests. We asked quite a few people to do this at that time.
So, at that time there were 360-degree photos from people who were spending their time taking photos with the camera and posting them to blogs. I thought it was amazing. I felt like I could do something new with this and it had amazing potential. However, I felt that THETA was missing something.

THETA was missing something
THETA was not created with the purpose of shooting 360-degree spherical photos. We wanted to convey the atmosphere of a place to someone over SNS and if we could do this, we wanted to capture the entire place, not just a photo of it. This is the concept of a “photographic scene” and not a photograph.
We created THETA with the purpose of conveying a “photographic scene” to create an experience for the user to stir their emotions by sharing the feeling of the mood in the place.
I think the part about sharing is really interesting. At the time, I was using SNS and such. I believed the 360-degree world would gain popularity in SNS. However, I came to feel that something was missing, which was the fact that people could quite easily take photographic scenes but there were so many photos uploaded as they are taken. The advantages of photographic scene were not being fully utilized.
So, while I was actually trying to use the camera and giving my support for it, I thought it would be interesting if I could have a character with me in the photographic scene. I thought this would create a new sense of life that had never been done before within the photographic scene.
I see. The concept of stamps was around from the start but you wanted to create a new photographic scene arranged with characters by yourself.
That’s where “Mikuture*” comes in.
* “Mikuture” was developed personally by Sorasu Aoki and is a popular smartphone app available free of charge. You can use it to shoot photos together with Hatsune Miku appearing in them. iOS and Android versions are currently available.
Sorasu Aoki, the creator of Mikuture and main programmer of the THETA MIKU app, makes an appearance
My app started with a name such as “Hatsune Miku AR app (tentative)”. It soon became known by the name “Mikuture”.
I was supporting and cheering for Mikuture from way back when it first started. In my own way, I also had a vision of creating a new world with characters inside photos using AR (Augmented Reality) so I saw you doing that and was impressed.
When did you start working on Mikuture?
About 3 years ago, it was from 2014.
I was always keeping an eye on Sorasu’s development. Last year in October 2016 there was a large event in Sapporo. It was an event called “No Maps*”.
Ricoh was exhibiting its products and XVI was also exhibiting their VR experience demonstration. This was the main reason for starting this project.
* “No Maps” is a creative convention for pictures, music, and the interactive (IT cutting edge technology, etc.) held by Crypton Future Media, Inc. and WESS Inc. playing a central role.
We were developing spherical live technology so we made a prototype and went there to experiment with spherical live broadcasting idols. Oh, and we also set up a booth to showcase THETA.
Which means Crypton, who created Hatsune Miku, Ricoh, and XVI came together in Sapporo.

THETA MIKU project launches
Since Crypton, Ricoh, and XVI had come together, I thought it would be a good idea to collaborate. (lol) From that moment, I wanted to make a Hatsune Miku app similar to Mikuture for THETA.
I see. As you said earlier “THETA was missing something” and “It would be nice to create your own photographic scene using a character”. You were aware of these issues.
Sorasu, how did you feel when you decided to participate in the THETA MIKU project?
I was happy because I could connect my personal activities to official work. I was quite surprised when I heard because it is in a different field to illustrations and musical composition.
We officially talked to Crypton for the first time after that. We went to them and said “THETA is this type of product and we are thinking of collaborating with Hatsune Miku.”
Of course, we told them “We don’t want to create a camera model with a simple color change. We want to offer a new experience to users that would further expand the connection for creation with Hatsune Miku.”

The essence of THETA MIKU
The base technology was there in the form of Mikuture but you constructed it from scratch on the program side. I believe the THETA MIKU app is a culmination of your work. What is a major advancement from Mikuture?
From a technical point, it is the function to create a mask by tracing with your fingers.
* Author’s note: You can hide Miku behind objects at the front by creating a mask.
You could use masks in Mikuture using 3D polygons. Normal people cannot understand this intuitively so we talked about whether it would be best to create masks by tracing with your finger.
This is where Employee sal, the miku.ricoh blog writer, barged in unexpectedly on our talk.
Employee sal has used the THETA MIKU app the most at Ricoh and created many examples of work.
Post from RICOH THETA. #theta360 - Spherical Image - RICOH THETA
View at theta360.com >>
Example of work by Employee sal
It’s so convenient to create a mask with my finger. This is important to allow many people to use it.
I also like the Hachune Miku stamps. I think it is very important that Hachune Miku stamps are used instead of normal Hatsune Miku stamps.
This feature is really important, using mosaic or blurring doesn’t leave a good impression. Using Hachune Miku stamps makes it more casual and can also be used for further expression.
11 types of Hachune Miku stamps
You can also adjust the lighting to make it fit with Miku in the spherical image and you can gradually understand how to use shadows. For example, you can also have Miku reflect in a mirror placed somewhere in the spherical image.
Instead of blurring a person at the time, you can bring out the mood by blurring a character.
You’re so good at this, you’ve been using it so much. So you mean that I can create an image that I’m thinking about for myself.
Until now with Mikuture, it seems that taking the photo is the main thing even after placing Miku on top of the photo. However, with the current THETA MIKU app, you can enjoy playing with the image after taking it.
So you take a photo and then later can freely make Miku appear in the photo. This is like making art because you are molding it into a form you prefer after taking the photo.
That’s right. It’s art. Let’s just go back to what we were discussing. “RICOH THETA SC  Type HATSUNE MIKU” together with the THETA MIKU app produces creators. Combining the THETA MIKU app with THETA allows anyone to become a creator.
That’s exactly the new user experience we were aiming for this time.
This is a “creation tool”. Using this “creation tool”, you can not only take spherical photos but also make a work of art that includes your own expression. Using it feels good.
Miku from THETA MIKU with various facial expressions
The user creates the content. And I believe this is the world’s first tool where you can take a 360-degree spherical image alongside a character.
Today, even though we asked you about the secrets of the app, we ended up talking about conceptual matters. This is the essential part of it.
Don’t you think it’s more fun to talk about that? (lol)
What’s important is that it can produce new creators, don’t you think? Anyone can become a creator.
Something I’ve always thought since first using a computer was that everyone can become a creator with the power of computing, and I think this is interesting.
When THETA changed to a creation tool this time, I no longer felt that something was missing. Create a spherical image with Miku appearing, share it with everyone, and have them like it. Create a work of art with your favorite character and distribute it over SNS.
I really hope to see everyone posting their work as creators! We have talked for some length so I would like to thank you all for letting us hear in detail about your vision.
Post from RICOH THETA. #theta360 - Spherical Image - RICOH THETA
View at theta360.com >>
XVI: GOROman and Sorasu Aoki, Ricoh: Employee sal and ubu369, and also... Miku!

We talked for an hour and a half (someone barged in during conversation lol). I summarized the talk around the app this time. We also talked about the future and some off-record topics, and it would be nice to release these sometime in the future.