This bizarre pen is actually a 360-degree selfie camera from Ricoh's new startup

Vecnos 360 camera
(Image credit: Vecnos)

There are plenty of 360-degree cameras available today, but it seems like we're going to get another one. Japanese imaging company Ricoh – best known for its own range of 360 cameras and rugged, waterproof snappers – has established a new startup called Vecnos to focus on making a new 360-degree camera that will "reinvent the selfie".

Details about the Vecnos-branded camera are slim at the moment, although the company has said the product will be launched some time this year. All we know of the as-yet nameless camera are some of its design aspects.

The pen-shaped camera looks rather like a Neuralyzer from the Men In Black movies (as Wired rightly describes it), but unlike that fictional device, this wand-like shooter is meant to keep your memories safe. Two buttons on the grip will operate the four lenses on the wand – three set on the sides, and a fourth on the top.

Look familiar? It will, if you're a fan of the Men In Black movies

Look familiar? It will, if you're a fan of the Men In Black movies (Image credit: Vecnos / Ricoh)

Nothing else is known about the upcoming camera but, when it is released, it will be entering a saturated market with plenty of competition from the likes of the GoPro Max and the Insta360 One X. But the selling point for the Vecnos camera would be its size.

Everything about the upcoming camera looks like it's been miniaturized. When available, it should easily slip into any pocket – something that's evident from the promotional video clip the company has shared.

As is evident from the above video, the camera will work with a mobile app so users "can easily enhance and share their images and videos on social media platforms". If the image quality can compete with anything that is already available on the market, the new camera might even become a very convenient live streaming tool.

The idea behind setting up a new operation is to separate Ricoh's existing portfolio of B2B products from a new range of consumer products under the Vecnos brand, which will be led by Ricoh veteran Shu Ubukata, the man behind the Theta series of 360 cameras.  "To make a new product, a new culture, they decided we should make a new company," Ubukata told Wired. "We are part of Ricoh, but Ricoh decided we should be very independent like a startup company."

According to the Wired's report, Vecnos will be focusing on a range of easy-to-use consumer cameras with a pleasing aesthetic, rather than the clunky cameras available today.

From what little we've seen, we can't wait to try out the upcoming Vecnos selfie camera and have a little fun along the way.

Sharmishta Sarkar
Managing Editor (APAC)

Sharmishta is TechRadar's APAC Managing Editor and loves all things photography, something she discovered while chasing monkeys in the wilds of India (she studied to be a primatologist but has since left monkey business behind). While she's happiest with a camera in her hand, she's also an avid reader and has become a passionate proponent of ereaders, having appeared on Singaporean radio to talk about the convenience of these underrated devices. When she's not testing camera kits or the latest in e-paper tablets, she's discovering the joys and foibles of smart home gizmos. She's also the Australian Managing Editor of Digital Camera World and, if that wasn't enough, she contributes to T3 and Tom's Guide, while also working on two of Future's photography print magazines Down Under.