First Offsite Test of the Little Black Box
Thanks to @Bob_White for allowing me to test the Little Black Box (LBB), “across state lines,” as he says. As a tester, to get started it was easy; I pointed my browser at the webserver housed in the LBB. Bob had temporarily opened up the firewall to all web connections.
After 10-15 seconds negotiating the initial connection, up came the LBB interface, with multiple pulldown menus and buttons.
In general, the responsiveness was very good. I noticed latency just once with the first connection, and then if you took multiple pictures, there is 5 seconds between pictures (the time it takes to stitch two hemispheres together on the camera) plus several seconds before the last pictures shows up in the LBB interface.
The pulldown menu for actions:
At first I tried one picture at high res. I can then choose that picture (or others already in memory on the camera) to see the full metadata. You can view a thumbnail (actually it’s the full image just displayed small) of the equirectangular version. AND Bob has implemented GoogleVR so you can easily see the full navigate-able 360 degree photosphere in your browser, too. Very cool!
The Index page shows the full list of images, in reverse chronological order. Note the bottom 7 are taken today (June 13, 2017) and include 1 high res image (highlighted in red rectangle) and 6 low res tests. Equirectangular versions are on the left, 360 photospheres on the right.
Through the LBB interface, you can run multiple API commands. Here I am running
/osc/infoand getting back the current state of the camera:
Finishing up just required turning off the wifi which kills the outside connection.
Comment on power: With smaller electronic gadgets and IoT devices, it’s maybe easy to overlook power. The LBB can take power (cord or battery) to the Raspberry Pi Zero W and power the THETA. Only one power source needed. “It’s super clean,” says Bob.
If you are interested in setting up remote time lapse solutions with a RICOH THETA, you should strongly consider contacting Bob’s consulting firm. He has LBB feature-rich example already built. And his consulting business is open to taking on new challenges and adding different functionality.