Novel Ricoh technology provides ship snapshots


Japanese shipping firm Mitsui OSK Lines (MOL) has detailed how it is using technology from electronics firm Ricoh to keep an eye on every corner of its ships.

MOL is now able to carry out virtual ship visits using the Ricoh Theta, a 360-degree camera and the Theta 360.biz, a virtual tour production service.

Shipmanagement companies and operators can browse 360-degree onboard images and videos from anywhere using PCs and smartphones “as if they were visiting in person”, MOL stated in a release today.

“MOL Group land-based employees have limited opportunities to visit all areas onboard giant vessels over 300m long, especially in relatively short in-person visits. This makes it hard to intuitively grasp the ship structure through drawings and conventional planar images,” MOL explained in a release. The new Fleet Tour application developed with Ricoh technology addresses such issues. In addition, MOL expects this to be particularly effective as an ICT-based approach to vessel inspection, considering the difficulty of conducting in-person ship visits during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The new development is the third part of MOL’s so-called FOCUS project. The first part was the Fleet Viewer application, which monitors vessel operation data, followed by its Fleet Performance application that tracks vessel performance.



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