360-degree images bring websites to life

Posted by Lydia Leavitt

A Silicon Valley start-up known as Bubblie is hoping to redefine the way we view photographs with what it calls a "bubble" image.

The 360-degree "bubbles" are created using a mobile phone’s location, accelerometer and camera.

At this week’s TED conference, the company’s founders took the stage to demo the product on the iPad. By rotating the iPad, both founders were able to pan and scroll through a 360-degree image of the convention center, without using a mouse or the touchscreen.

Basically, the technology offers a new way to view images, where you don’t need any special equipment or even a mouse to scroll through a panoramic or large image. 

The bubbles can even be embedded into webpages and shared with friends and family.

Within a webpage, Terrence McArdle, co-founder of Bubblie, showcased the app with a picture of an exotic photo embedded in a fake online newspaper.

Within the column, there the picture was, but when he moved around the iPad, the picture scrolled through, offering a much more sensory experience than a simple picture.

It’s kind of like looking at the New York City skyline and panning through the whole thing within a tiny window simply by tilting your phone or iPad.

"So much of journalism is about trying to connect you to remote worlds through images, and bubbles uniquely do that," he said. 

Currently the start-up has $2 million in financing from August Capital and hopes to release an app to the Apple Store within a month or so. With the app, users can create their own bubble images, although the app is not needed to view the images. Next up: an Android app.

(Via NY Times)