A Unique View: Soko Aoki of PanoPlaza on the Opportunities in Panoramas

Soko Aoki presenting

We’ve previously featured PanoPlaza, a fun panoramic photo tool operated by Japan-based Kadinche Corporation that has functioned as a useful tool for retailers to create virtual online stores. The company’s CEO, Soko Aoki, recently had a chance to attend the International Panoramic Photography Conference this year in Iceland. This event is the biggest of its kind in the world, and it featured 30 talks and 150 participants.

Soko was the only speaker from Japan at the event.

As we have noted on this site more than a few times, Japan is a country that’s very enthusiastic about photo apps. But Soko says that use of panoramic photographs has not really hit the Japanese or Asian markets just yet. He explained this at the conference, and noted that many companies in attendance showed interest in coming to the Japanese market. He adds:

Most Japanese panoramic photography companies only shoot panoramas and simply put them on their websites. But in Europe and America, there are many companies and individuals who are working on more advanced features such as panoramic movies, aerial panoramas, and panoramic camera hardware. Seeing all this, I have learned a lot from being at the event.

It’s interesting to note that while Japan is so enthusiastic about mobile photography and photography in general, that companies are not yet exploring the opportunities that lie in panoramic photography as much as they are in other regions.

While Soka says that one of his main goals in attending was to find out cutting edge panoramic photo technology being used elsewhere, I’m sure that the event provided a good chance for him to spread the word about his PanoPlaza service as well.

Readers may recall when we reported about PanoPlaza’s tie-up with Japanese retail giant Don Quijote, providing a solution for employees to virtually visit stores in remote locations to visually manage their merchandise. That’s just one example of how the technology can be used, and it will be interesting to see what other ones emerge in the future.

Don Quijote using Panoplaza for merchandise management
Don Quijote using Panoplaza for merchandise management