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Luminate Appifies Web Images

By Rob Spiegel E-Commerce Times ECT News Network
Jul 27, 2011 11:48 AM PT

Luminate, formerly known as "Pixazza," has unveiled a new platform for image apps. The apps available on the Luminate platform will allow consumers to conduct activities such as shopping, sharing, commenting and navigating directly from the image. The platform can also facilitate new services made possible by the development of apps specifically for images.

Luminate Appifies Web Images

The Luminate platform is meant to turn regular images into interactive experiences for users. When a user sees the Luminate icon in the corner of an image, it indicates the image is interactive. When the cursor floats over the icon, a series of app choices are displayed.

These apps allow users to share an image or particular points of it with friends, learn statistics about athletes, see where to purchase similar products to the ones displayed, view news about an event, reveal geotag or Wikipedia info, read additional relevant content to what is featured in the image, or experience music or video related to the image.

Image app categories include commerce, information, social, organization, advertising, navigating, public service and presentation. Twitter Share, Facebook Share and Email Share let users send images to friends. Annotation allows publishers to quickly tag a spot on an image with relevant information. The advertising app allows relevant ads to be placed within images. The products app enables links to stores to be placed so users can purchase the displayed item.

Luminate: A Newly Born Platform

Luminate's set of apps link an image to different relevant spots on the Web. A picture of a bike race could click through to racing bikes for sale.

"We pushed out a whole new image and platform to illuminate vision and make images on the Web interactive," Bob Lisbonne, CEO of Luminate, told the E-Commerce Times. "This is the first platform for image applications, and it makes images functional. Our vision is to take images the way phones went, from voice calls to dozens of great apps. We think images on the Web will be similarly transformed."

While the company has been around for a few years, the name change and relaunch comes now that the company has a sufficient base of users and publishers to attract attention. "The company was founded in 2008 to make images interactive," said Lisbonne. "We launched specific applications tied to what is in a picture. It has become popular with users. We have 150,000 users and 4,000 publishers. Publishers can add a line of Javascript. That's all that is necessary."

Lisbonne intends to do more than just commerce with the interactive image platform. He sees encyclopedia applications where you click on an image to gain deeper information.

"We envision many more categories than just e-commerce," said Lisbonne. "We may do some of it ourselves or we may make it available to independent developers. We'll work on the first applications ourselves, and when we feel this is ready, we'll open it up to the world."

Let the E-Commerce Players Play

E-marketers could get a lot of use with this platform, from linking to a local dealership from a image of a new car to linking to a fashion boutique from an image of the next hot fashion on a starlet.

"It looks in theory like you're able to tag images within a website with product information," Mark Beccue, senior analyst, global payments and commerce at ABI Research, told the E-Commerce Times. "You can click on an image and it takes to you a site. If you let merchandisers and e-commerce players play around with this, they're innovative enough to make it work it to their advantage."

It may take a while to grab the imagination of marketers, Beccue said, but it could take off in time. He also has doubts about potential mobile applications.

"There is potential interest in this," said Beccue. "When you look at things from a mobile sense, I'm not sure there is a way to go, but if you see an interesting image, clicking on it could at least narrow down what you're looking for."

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