LiveShare: instant photo sharing from Cooliris

May 25, 2011 | Robert Scoble
If you don't have time to watch the whole video, check out the three-minute version below.

Photo sharing on the web has been around for years. Sites like Flickr, Facebook, Picasa and Snapfish provide a wealth of options for uploading images and making them available to friends and family. None of these sites, however, allows instant, real-time sharing across multiple devices. Cooliris is making that possible with its new app called LiveShare.

“Back in 2006, we started Cooliris with the goal to transform the way people experience media on the web,” explains Austin Shoemaker, Co-Founder and CTO of Cooliris. “And that’s brought us to a point where we’re really excited to show you what we’ve been working on—a new product called LiveShare that’s all about visual communication and enabling people to interact around media in a way that’s more natural and really thinking about the context of the message that you’re sending.”

The LiveShare application allows you to create an event and share photo streams related to that event. Anyone you invite to join the event can view the photos instantly as well as contribute their own photos. The app is currently available for the iPhone and iPad as well as any web browser that supports HTML5, but the company has plans to expand to other devices in the future.

“It’s a cross device, user-centric experience,” says Shoemaker. “When you jump into LiveShare, you can do that from your phone, from your tablet or from your web browser, and it’s the same experience with the same information and media. However you come in, you’ve got your personal world right there. If you’re on your phone, you’re more likely to capture photos and videos, so you could just take pictures and take videos, and those are instantly synced to the cloud. So you go back home, and those photos and videos are available for you to browse, present, and share to groups or social networks. We think this is going to be a great way to really connect all the different parts of your life.”

LiveShare achieves instant syncing by first syncing a low resolution version of the photo, but it follows that initial sync with the full resolution image. “One of the decisions we made,” says Shoemaker, “was we want people to be able to use this as their primary camera, so when you’re taking pictures, you’re not compromising on quality.”

You can also share text messages, videos and links from your browser. Links can be viewed right in the app using a minibrowser, or you can jump out to your full browser. And as location is a big part of the context of any event, the app allows you to geotag all of your messages.

Images and video are just the beginning for LiveShare. “In the first version, we’re only going to support image and video attachments,” explains Shoemaker. “In the future, we’re going to allow any kind of documents. The idea is if you’re sharing say a Photoshop file of a mockup, you should be able to drag and drop that on your group and they should be able to open it on the other side.”

More info:

LiveShare web site: http://www.liveshare.com/
Cooliris web site: http://www.cooliris.com/
Cooliris on Twitter: http://twitter.com/Cooliris
Cooliris profile on CrunchBase: http://www.crunchbase.com/company/cooliris

Check out the three-minute version here.

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