Luminate Launches App Store for Image Apps

In the words of Bob Lisbonne, CEO (and my boss) at Luminate: “The most successful technologies ultimately evolve into platforms.”

Today we announce a $10.7 million Series C financing lead by Nokia Growth Partners to accelerate our mission of making images interactive. Last summer we launched a platform for image applications, and today we’re unveiling an app store (and 11 new apps) to help publishers find and enable the apps that will best engage their respective audiences. From Luminate’s CTO Jim Everingham on our blog:

There are currently more than 3 trillion images on the web. More square inches of browser real estate have been dedicated to images than to text in recent years. But for the most part, images have been ignored by technologists. Our company recognized the power of images to evoke imagination, emotion, spark curiosity and connect us with each other. We also saw the potential for images to do more, in fact, so much more that we believe no one company will be able to dictate what ‘making images interactive’ actually means.

So if we can’t define it, how can we achieve our vision? By powering the ideas of others and focusing on delivering a rich platform upon which to build relevant functionality. That is how we can fuel the change we desire.

Or as Bambi Francisco Roizen puts it at VatorNews: “Let’s face it. We’ve gotten to the point where a static image online just feels old school. If you can’t manipulate it, expand it, or dig a little deeper into the subject matter, it feels like we’re not taking advantage of what the Internet can offer.”

For you Pinterest fans out there, FastCompany explores “Beyond Pinterest: Luminate Harnesses The Power Of Truly Interactive Images.”

Imagine visiting a website and stumbling across an image of a beach in Maui. From that image, you’d be able to access a Wikipedia page about it, share it with your friends and followers on Facebook and Twitter, make travel arrangements, and even pull up related images using Bing’s image search capabilities — all formatted so you don’t have to leave the image or open up five different new browser windows. The latest round of apps being introduced by Mountain View-based startup Luminate make it possible to enrich photos with functionality like never before.

A roundup of some of the new apps from Forbes:

With the new app store, Luminate is making it possible to add a wide range of contextual information for images. Publishers can select any of these apps and add them to their images. For example, a Bing image search app shows related images, a YouTube app shows trailers related to actors in an image, an Amazon app gives links to purchase MP3s related to a musician in an image, a Netflix app shows related movies that can be watched, Celebuzz includes news about celebrities and Wikipedia shows related entries from the online encyclopedia. The icons for these various apps will only show up if there is relevant content for the image being displayed. The company uses image-matching technology to identify the objects inside of images.

The Examiner.com’s take on the user experience:

Luminate enables online publishers to turn stagnant images into compelling and interactive pieces with unobtrusive, in-photo applications. Utilizing a unique combination of crowd-sourced experts and patent-pending algorithms, online images are identified and curated for a compelling user experience.

Other press:

FastCompany
CNET
Portfolio
AllThingsD
VentureBeat
Mediapost
TechCrunch
San Jose Business Journals

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