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EveryScape launches UScapeIt, do-it-yourself app for creating panoramic pics

Posted by Scott Kirsner  April 20, 2011 09:01 AM

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Wouldn't it be sweet if you could share panoramic images from your Venetian vacation with your Facebook friends? Or e-mail a 360-degree apartment photo to a would-be roommate?

Ever since the days of QuickTime VR, fans of immersive imagery have been certain that more of it will be coming to the Web. That hasn't quite happened, but a new mobile app from Newton-based EveryScape could start to open the floodgates. UScapeIt makes it easy to produce and share panoramas using an iPhone, iPod Touch, or iPad 2 — and it's free.

To create a panorama using UScapeIt, you just switch the device into video capture mode, hold your arm out, and walk slowly in a circle, keeping the device at the center. Once the video is uploaded to the Web, it is transformed into a panorama by the UScapeIt servers, and you can then view it on your phone, or share it via Facebook or e-mail.

Here's a fun video showing how it works, starring EveryScape employee Brian Townsend. The company is launching the app at the Where 2.0 conference in Silicon Valley later today.

EveryScape's primary business model is selling local businesses (especially restaurants and hotels) on the idea that they'll attract more customers if they offer a way to "step inside" before actually visiting, via immersive imagery.

"We have always dreamed of the day when anyone who is experiencing someplace or some event that is meaningful to them could capture that experience for themselves and share it with friends, family, or the world," says EveryScape CEO Jim Schoonmaker. "As our professionally-produced content will continue to offer a richer and more immersive experience than our free app, UScapeit and EveryScape can work together to support a freemium-type business model."

Last year, EveryScape raised $6 million in funding and also announced a partnership with Bing, Microsoft's search engine.

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Scott Kirsner was part of the team that launched Boston.com in 1995, and has been writing a column for the Globe since 2000. His work has also appeared in Wired, Fast Company, The New York Times, BusinessWeek, Newsweek, and Variety. Scott is also the author of the books "Fans, Friends & Followers" and "Inventing the Movies," was the editor of "The Convergence Guide: Life Sciences in New England," and was a contributor to "The Good City: Writers Explore 21st Century Boston." Scott also helps organize several local events on entrepreneurship, including the Nantucket Conference and Future Forward. Here's some background on how Scott decides what to cover, and how to pitch him a story idea.

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