If you consider an average smartphone user, he primarily uses it for 3 main purposes: Communication such as e-mail, IM and social networking, taking photos and playing games. And if you’re like me, you’re probably taking a lot of photos daily.
While social photo apps like Picplz and Lightbox are cool, no one has thought of going beyond that and looking at ‘the big picture’. When you snap a photo, you’re essentially creating a visual representation of that place and generating location details of that place through geotags, which can be used for mapping purposes.
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Although Vineet Devaiah, co-founder of the Teliport.me refused to divulge any further details on the product they are currently working on, he hinted that their Android panorama app, which came out of Alpha last week, is just the tip of the iceberg and they have much larger plans with Teliport.me, which is currently under construction.
Speaking of the Android app, Vineet Devaiah and his team seem to have pulled off some impressive work over the past couple of months, considering how tricky and device-centric, the panorama feature usually is.
Unlike the iPhone, which has a similar hardware configuration throughout its entire device family, Android devices come with wildly different configurations and processing power, thanks to various OEM’s and their ways of product differentiation, to stay ahead in the market.
Hence, it poses a huge challenge for app developers to provide a similar experience across all devices, be it a low-specced model like HTC Wildfire or a top-end model like Samsung Galaxy II, which probably is one of the reason there are no solid panorama apps for Android unlike iOS which has Microsoft’s Photosynth and Occupital’s 360 Panorama.
On the flipside, Android devices enjoy more popularity than iPhones in developing countries like India, thanks to the wide adoption of the OS by domestic manufacturers such as Micromax, Spice and Olive Telecom who are churning out a crazy number of low-cost Android devices in recent months, thereby offering a large growth opportunity and a chance to be a killer app on the Android platform rather than being a “me too” app on iOS.
Vineet and the Teliport.me team, thereby thought of capitalising this opportunity and brought their award-winning photo stitching technology onto Android.
An alpha version was released into the Android Market in mid-May and the company recorded 47,000 downloads within a span of 60 days without any major PR campaign. The app recently moved to public beta and now supports 200+ Android devices, which is quite impressive, considering the highly fragmented nature of the OS. Vineet also added that the app has already stitched 70,000+ panoramas and the number is growing increasingly by the day.
This however is just the first stage in the company’s grand scheme of things. They have a web version of the photo stitching app which is currently barebones in terms of functionality, but they plan to re-launch a new web version at Teliport.me in forthcoming months.
While crowdsourced street view seems to be a lofty dream right now, we can’t wait to get our hands on this product once it publicly launches in few months.
As for Phototour.in, Vineet said they will ultimately shut it down and all the existing features will be ported onto Teliport.me.