At the Macworld Expo Monday FilmLoop Inc. introduced FilmLoop, a cross-platform photo broadcasting systems currently in development for the Mac OS X and already available for the Windows operating systems.
Perhaps best described as a customizable two-way antenna and social tool for sharing photos over the Internet, FilmLoop functions as a publishing system in which users can drag and drop digital photos from their collections, which are then sent across the Internet and presented to the viewer as a continuous dynamic scrolling marquee of images. Once the stream, or "loop," of up to 200 images has been sent, users can drag specific images to their hard drives to save them or click on specific images to pull up enlarged versions of the image or access online content such as Web sites, blogs, movies, podcasts, file downloads, PDFs or e-mail links.
FilmLoop also functions as a social network via its images. Once a user has created a loop from their images, they can mark the collection as available to the public and send the images out for others to comment on them. Loops can also be encoded with keywords or hypertext markup language to make them searchable and can be categorized in areas such as Art, Entertainment, Humor, Interests, News, Places and Sports.
Albeit somewhat new, FilmLoop has found support from several major partners looking to push digital image streams of their products and services. AutoSpies.com, Hewlett-Packard, iStockphoto, Turner Broadcasting System, Purina/Nestle, Photobucket.com, Photo Marketing Association International, Primedia's Action Sports Group, Reef, Twentieth Century Fox and World Picture Network have officially joined the FilmLoop network as partners and auction site eBay is exploring the use of the program as well.
During the product demonstration, a loop of images from auction site eBay.com was shown. The images, which showed a variety of Corvettes currently being sold on the site, presented the idea of the ultimate teaser image, the one that draws the user's attention from the others in the loop and draws them to click on it and examine the details of the auction. The program can also be hooked into various statistics and tracking technologies for eventual use as a Web marketing technology.
FilmLoop is free to download and use with a fully functional Windows client available and a Mac OS X client currently in development. The FilmLoop network, which is supported by advertising dollars, sprinkles in a moderate share of ads through each loop. Each loop, once created, is reviewed to filter out adult content prior to broadcast over the Internet. The loop then becomes part of the FilmLoop Network, which allows other users to search for it and view it as they wish.
Established in 2004 and currently employing 25 people, FilmLoop Inc. functions as a mix of art, business and social networking experience, as represented by its founders, Kyle Mashima and Prescott Lee. Mashima, a former vice president of Strategic Development for image software giant Adobe, provided the firm's art and drive aspects. Lee, the former founder and CEO of eCircles.com, a social networking community that reached a three million-user membership base, helped guide the firm's social elements. In February 2005 the firm received $5.6 million in venture capital from GlobeSpan Capital Partners and Garage Technology Ventures to assist growth and expansion.
"After many years of reaching the mainstream audience through popular consumer magazines, it's now clear that digital photography and the Web have revolutionized photography," said Doug Menuez, a veteran photographer. "FilmLoop has the potential to be what Life Magazine used to be for our culture."
Copyright 2006 by United Press International
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