Future Scenarios Envisionedby RICOH360 Vol. 2: Imagining a New “Predestined Relationship” that Connects Producersand Consumers

This series features future scenariosenvisioned by RICOH360.


It features how technology that records andanalyzes the entire 360 degrees range can contribute to society and the livesof people, and what kind of world will be achieved as a result of thistechnology.

This scenario was created during a workshopby next generation leaders who will examine the value of RICOH360 and its idealsituation.

Recently, many people grow crops on sharedfarmland on the weekend while working in the city, create vegetable gardens ontheir balcony, and participate as a family in a hands-on experience in foodeducation. Some people also have parents and siblings who work as farmers inthe home where they grew up. Farming might be a surprisingly familiar topic forpeople working in cities, not a distance one.


We imagined a future five years from nowand the challenges concerning farming.

What Are the ChallengesConcerning Farming?

Population aging and declining industrialpopulation are major challenges in the workplace of primary industries, such asfarming, forestry, and fishing. The average age is 67. The reality is that 60%of people in these industries are over 60 years old. There are statistics thatshow that the population involved in primary industries has unfortunatelydeclined by more than a third over the previous 20 years. The lack of humanresources and people to take over the running of the business in farming hasbecome a serious problem. “Efficiency” is required to increase productivitywith fewer resources.


And what about in local government?Abandoned farmland increases to 1.4 times the area within the JR Yamanote Lineper year in some years, and it is said that its total area is 5.7 times that ofLake Biwa. At the same time, tax revenue has diminished due to the populationdecline. People have moved to the city, and many local government bodies areleft with the challenge of revitalizing farming despite their efforts inprojects to renew towns through tourist attractions to compensate for thedecline in people living there.


Finally, there is the challenge of usconsumers. There are many things that we do not know about nature, farming, andthe food we put in our mouths. There are also not enough education and hands-onexperience opportunities to obtain this kind of knowledge. It is necessary toovercome various problems such as distance, time, and cost even before we search on our ownfor and participate in such things as activities in nature and hands-on farmingexperience.

Let’s Try to Change OurThinking, Think about What We Can Do, and Imagine about the Future

What can we do to solve these challenges?Diverge our thinking. We want to imagine what can solve more essential socialchallenges. We tried to think about this. What are the real challenges infarming? We formed a single hypothesis.


“If consumers could learn more aboutproducers, crops, and livestock products, it might lead to revitalizingfarming.”


For example, when a consumer buys meat fromthe supermarket, recently there has been a gradual increase in stores thatdisplay information about where the meat was produced, the producer, and howthe animal was reared. However, there are still many people who do not payattention to these when purchasing products. They do not know where the foodthey and their precious family members eat comes from, who produces it, and howit is made. This situation may be more critical than you think.


Meanwhile, there are caseswhere producers are not in a position to be able to deliver sufficientinformation to consumers. If we could share information from producers usingRicoh technology, and bring producers and consumers closer together, we thoughtthat this might lead to a solution for the challenges associated with farming.

360 Degrees + 5-en ("Go-en" or predestinedrelationship) = Service Connecting Producers and Consumers 365 Days a Year

If weuse the 360-degree camera RICOH THETA, aRICOH360 device, and a service that makes use of the data shot with THETA, itwill be possible to connect producers and consumers 365 days a year in 360degrees.

For example, farmland and grazing land has certain natural land features and climate, and ofcourse there are all four seasons, as well as both sunny and rainy days. Cattleare being raised in such an environment. Meaning, this is where cattle is bornand lives its entire life, and events occur in its life on the land. At theend, these animals are processed to create livestock products and delivered tothe consumer. With RICOH360, using video shot using the 360-degree camera THETAenables us to capture the reality of the farm from multiple and ongoingperspectives. Allowing people to view 360-degreevideo of the life events of producers and their livestock products 365 days ayear will create an ongoing relationship between producers and consumers, andthis is truly a “predestined relationship.”


We are also given the opportunity to studyabout the importance of nature and life at outdoor schools and during lessonsinvolving hands-on experience at farms conducted during our childhood. However,even though we learn a great deal during these lessons, they usually end as aone-time event with no further opportunity to learn more. Through the use of360-degree video with RICOH360 we can create a long-term connection betweenproducers and consumers.

How to Connect in 360Degrees (an example)

So how do we connect in 360 degrees? Thisis an example and we thought about how to achieve it using a 360-degree livestreaming platform.

Description: Thisillustration is a concept drawing that shows the use of a system thatincorporates 360-degree live streaming to connect producers and consumers.

Consumers can view the channel as foodeducation content whenever they like. It’s a wonderful idea to have such thingsas functions to chat and donate money to be able to provide financial supportto the producers directly, and a direct sales store function so we can buydirectly from the producer as a system to connect producers with consumers andbuild a relationship that will generate communication. You can also supportproducers by joining the hometown tax payment scheme.


Meanwhile, producers can also use thisservice as a “360-degree remote checking system” to remotely monitor livestockand the growth of crops inside green houses so this can be of some help to workefficiency.

A World Connected by 360Degrees

Consumers will increase their knowledge andexperience with food, and this will increase their perspective on foodeducation. We are happy if we can create a place for people to notice aspectsof animal welfare, food waste, and the fact that it is normal for vegetables tobe misshapen and not have the perfect shape. It might even be possible for usto purchase meat from cattle that we have watched as it has grown large through360-degree video streaming. Participating in local farming will probablydevelop how we look at foodstuff and our viewpoint about it, and changeconsumer behavior.

Not only can producers make improvements to their operation by such as solving the problem of labor shortage and making optimization using remote site management, but being able to directly sell their produce will lead to them growing unique crops that match their own farm and environment as they listen directly to opinions from customers.

As far as local governments are concerned,people who are interested in the local area due to RICOH360 initiatives mayvisit those places either during an actual trip or before moving to live there.Even if it doesn’t go this far, we can expect an increase in the number ofpeople involved in buying foodstuff directly from the producer, and assistingand supporting the land.


Five years in the future fromnow that we imagined will have no barriers between producers and consumers andwill use 360-degree video to create a future in which predestined relationshipswill continue to be formed.

We Will Continue to Imagine

This time we formed a hypothesis that thereexists a challenge in the “relationship between producers and consumers.” Thisis not the only example. The real challenge for consumers might be the cost.The real challenge for producers might be productivity. We will continue torepeatedly hypothesize and verify into the future, and continue to search for afuture made better by our products and services.

Author: Tommy (pen name)

This article featured ideas discussed in aforward looking manner and asked the question “How can RICOH360 contribute tosociety?”

We will continue to develop RICOH360 as abrand that contributes to society and the future.


Changing Industrial and Occupational Structure - Statistics Bureau of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications


Statistics on Agricultural Labor Force, Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries



Number of workers by industry (primary to tertiary industries) 1951-2021


Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Trends in abandoned farmland and promotion of farmland use accumulation to bearers