Spinnable is a new iPhone app that creates 360-degree images using the phone’s panoramic camera function. In an interview with UploadVR, Spinnable’s co-founder and CEO Mark Demarest explains how his company is trying to turn 360-degree photos into a social phenomenon accessible by the masses.
Demarest said since the app’s release, there have already been thousands of accounts created and thousands of 360 “spins” shared. He credits this to the ease of use with which these interactive images can be created.
“Most of the other photo-stitching apps that we’ve seen use a series of shots and use four shots to stitch together … They also only allow you to swipe around the photo horizontally while [Spinnable] just asks you to take one panoramic photo and then enables full 360 interaction with vertical motion as well,” Demarest said.
Competing 360 photo apps like Google’s Photosphere also offer full horizontal and vertical movement from panorama photos. Most 360 cameras from companies like Nikon and Kodak also come equipped with their own gallery apps. However, Demarest believes that Spinnable can bridge the gap between 360 photo creation, viewing and sharing by combining its photo-stitching program with a cohesive social platform to rival the existing offerings from YouTube and Facebook.
“YouTube is great…for production companies or brands to host products after they’ve marketed them. Facebook is similar in that the discovery of 360 video on FB is a little more daunting. You have to seek it out and often it’s not even browser compatible… [Spinnable] set out to be repository for social sharing for 360 content that you and your friends capture. We see Spinnable as that social platform,” Demarest said.
Demarest’s goal in creating the social elements of the app was to keep the user interface and terminology as familiar as possible to what you already see in other platforms.
“There’s a home feed and there is a user search functionality and anyone can create an account. The app is free, the account is free, and once you’re in you can ‘like’ or comment on other users spins…we wanted everything to feel natural and familiar so our users can focus on what’s new which are the spins themselves,” Demarest said.
The goal of all of this for Demarest is to combine the in-the-moment sharing experience that Twitter or Instagram offers with the immersive power of 360 images. He wants his users to be able to share the full sphere of their experiences rather that a small framed snapshot. The app is also compatible with any 360 video cameras that can save its content into your phone’s camera roll. The current video limit is 15 seconds but Demarest mentioned that the company is experimenting with a gamified model to unlock longer videos as well as a potential paid premium experience.
Spinnable has been in the immersive image business for over six years, creating rotational experiences for concerts and other live events early on. For now, the focus of the 12-person team is all on this new app. Spinnable is betting that creating and sharing the 360 moments of our lives will be the future of social media. Will users agree?
Spinnable is currently exploring a possible seed round of investment, but is currently self-funding the app and is planning to release more information concerning their content and financial partners in the weeks to come.