Iqui is a pen-sized 360 camera for easy social sharing and that’s it
The $ 299 Iqui is the opposite of what I would expect from a 360-degree camera. It was developed by Ricoh spin-off Vecnos and the team that created the first consumer 360 camera, the . You can see this camera’s DNA in the Iqui (pronounced ee-kwee) and what made the Theta special in 2013 is what makes the Iqui unique in 2020: the simplicity.
The original Theta was essentially a 360 instant camera. You turned it on, hit the shutter button, and it created a spherical image once you redirected it through its mobile or desktop app. Back then, you couldn’t share the images directly to social media, and honestly you still can’t really. Theinto a more powerful platform for creating 360 content as the Iqui seems to be trying to recapture the snapshot feel of the original. International pricing is currently not available, but $ 299 converts to around £ 230 or AU $ 410.
He has more lenses but he is actually smaller
The Theta used two large lenses to create spherical images. It was compact and you could put it in your pocket but it was thick and heavy and you would know it was there. The Iqui has four lenses – three around the outside and one on the top – and it’s basically the size of a thick Sharpie marker. You can easily slip it into your pocket or purse.
The Iqui has three buttons: power, shooting mode (photos or video) and a shutter button. Turn it on and you can take a photo or record up to 30 seconds of video, although video isn’t really the point. At least not in the traditional sense of the word.
It’s made for social
The idea is that you take a photo and then upload it to your phone through the Iquispin app (all 360 degree photos will work with the app if you want to try). Once you’re in the app, there is a selection of templates that turn your 360 photo into an 8-14 second MP4 video. It basically animates the photo using rotations, twists, and other motions to give you a glimpse of everything and everyone in the photo. The clips are small in size and short in length and this is a common file type that can be shared on any social platform.
Pairing with your phone is a snap
Any obstacle to using a product like this puts it in immediate danger of ending up in a drawer. Matching is certainly a frequent obstacle that presents itself. For example, GoPro struggled for some time to make it easier to connect its cameras to your phone. Now the process is little more than tapping your phone screen multiple times. This is already where Vecnos is with the Iqui.
You turn on the camera, open the app, bring the camera close to your phone and tap Connect in the app and you’re done. With the app, you can download what’s stored on the camera to your device so you can edit (and by edit I mean apply a template) and then share your clip. Renderings are fast and if you like what you see you can quickly export the images to share. The app also allows you to remotely control the camera.
The biggest obstacle is the price
I love 360 degree photos and videos but have no interest in editing them. A camera like the Vecnos Iqui is something I would use, just like my kids. It’s like the 360 equivalent of an instant film camera – it’s simple and straightforward with a shareable result that’s different from a basic snapshot from your phone. And I haven’t even used all the features yet because they won’t be available until an app update in October. When the Iqui becomes available on October 1, it will be $ 299 and a travel charging case will set you back an additional $ 98 when it arrives in November.