If you’ve ever wanted an easy way to create a 360-degree interactive video to show off a new product, Arqball Spin has you covered.
Arqball Spin is targeting companies and individuals who want to give the product they are selling a better way to convey the “sense” of an object over the Web.
“We are really surprised at how e-commerce tech has essentially stagnated for that last 10 years,” Arqball co-founder Abhi Shelat told VentureBeat via e-mail. “Product visualizations haven’t moved forward since 1999. We think of that as a major shortcoming and hope our product revitalizes the primary killer app for the internet: selling.”
The company was founded by Shelat and Jason Lawrence, two professors who work in the computer science department at the University of Virginia. Shelat told us that the two first worked on an iPad app/book for photography together. Shelat said the book for the iPad was downloaded “more times than the sum of all of the academic papers that both Jason and I have ever written,” something that encouraged the two to work on another project.
So far the company’s free app has seen “thousands of downloads” and was featured at one time in the “What’s Hot” section of the Photo & Video section of the iOS App Store. While the app is free, the company makes money by selling a spinning stage so that users can capture photos or film of a product from any — or every — angle.
[Update, on stage, Shelat showed how you can create a spin of a set of pens, capture the image, convert it, and show it on an iPad. You can then label various parts of the image, with a bubble pointing an arrow at a precise part of the image. Then you can tweet the image out. The app “democratizes” the art of conveying objects, Shelat said.
In the DEMO Sage panel immediately following the presentation, several investors shared their feedback. Dana Stalder, general partner at Matrix Partners, said that we’re about to see a lot of “amazing innovations” happen in imaging apps that take advantage of the outstanding cameras in mobile devices.
“This is a very interesting technology and an indicator of what is to come,” he said. “The big question is what business model comes with it.”
Jason Krikorian, a general partner at DCM, said that the Arqball app was very engaging and it probably could improve conversion to purchases in e-commerce applications. He also was unsure of what the exact business model would be, whether it is related to the spinning stage or spins themselves. He also wanted to know how unique the technology is.]
Charlottesville, Virgina-based Arqball was founded in 2010 and is self-funded. It has five employees. Check out the Arqball Spin demo video below:
Arqball is one of 80 companies chosen by VentureBeat to launch at the DEMO Spring 2012 event taking place this week in Silicon Valley. After we make our selections, the chosen companies pay a fee to present. Our coverage of them remains objective.