Dropbox continues its foray into photography with another acquisition of an imaging app: this time, the popular cloud storage service purchased Bubbli, a startup known for its innovative 3D photo-stitching technology.
Bubbli is able to capture panoramic-style, spherical images called “bubbles.” With a quick sweep of your smartphone or tablet, these bubbles actually become three-dimensional, moving images able to incorporate audible sounds as well.
According to an email sent by Bubbli founders Ben Newhouse and Terrence McArdle to all the app’s users, the photo-stitching bubble technology will soon be integrated into Dropbox, and progress updates will be posted when possible.
The full text of the email reads:
We have some exciting news to share: Dropbox has acquired Bubbli!
We’re thrilled to be joining Dropbox. Bubbli’s goal has always been to capture experiences in a way that feels like you are not just viewing photos but reliving memories. By joining forces, we’ll be able to continue to transform how you experience your memories on a much larger scale.
The bubbles everyone has shared have blown us away. We’re working on integrating bubbles into Dropbox and we’ll keep you posted on our progress. Until then, you can continue capturing bubbles the same way you have in the past!
Thank you for all your support thus far and here’s to the future!
Bubbli’s founders, both Stanford alums, first introduced the idea of photo bubbles at a 2011 TED event. Prior to that, both men had a wealth of experience with imaging tech: according to Bubbli’w website, McArdle was the first to invent a “seamless digital spherical photo in 1991, three years before the release of QTVR,” and Newhouse created Yelp Monocle, “the first Augmented Reality (AR) app to launch on (Apple’s) U.S. App Store in 2009.”
Other recent photo app acquisitions made by Dropbox includes Loom and Snapjoy, the latter eventually getting shut down. Also, let’s not forgot that Dropbox launched its own photo storage app Carousel a little over a month ago – that seems to be working out thus far.
But Bubbli is a slightly different animal than the others; Snapjoy, Loom, and Carousel revolved around photo organization rather than 3D artistry. This latest pairing could be the start of a brand new chapter for Dropbox once the panoramic tech is properly integrated to the cloud. It’s clear that imaging will play a major role in Dropbox’s future; where the company is going will be interesting to see.
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