With new iPhone, download photo sharing application too

August 21st, 2008 - 12:11 pm ICT by IANS  

Bangalore, Aug 21 (IANS) As excitement heightens for the launch of Apple’s iPhone in India Friday, two Indian techies from the US have pitched in to offer a free download of their mobile application on iPhone for photo sharing, with value added features to boot.The entrepreneurial techies - Apoorva Ruparel and Keshav Murthy - are part of the team that established AirMe Inc at Colorado Springs a year ago to design, develop and offer AirMe on the Apple applications store for iPhone users.

“Our unique application enables an iPhone user to take pictures and upload them instantly to any social networking site such as Flickr, Facebook or Orkut for viewing by anyone,” Ruparel told IANS at a peek demonstration of the proprietary software product here.

The pictures can also be shared with the near and dear, friends and others through SMS or e-mail from iPhone, whose operating system is General Packet Radio Service (GPRS) enabled.

What’s more, all photos are auto-tagged with location (map), time, weather and any user customised information. As iPhone is GPRS-enabled, the easy-to-use application can be downloaded from the photography section in iTune store of Apple in less than a minute on 2G and 3G networks.

“Similarly, photos can be transmitted to other GPRS-enabled mobiles or web sites at the same time for sharing with others,” said Ruparel, who is also the start-up’s vice-president (strategy and marketing).

As a packet-based wireless communication service, GPRS ensures data rates from 56-114 kbps and continuous connection to the Internet for mobile phone and computer users. The higher data rates allow users to take part in video conferences and interact with multimedia web sites and similar applications using mobile handheld devices as well as notebook computers. GPRS is based on Global System for Mobile (GSM) communication and complements existing services such circuit-switched cellular phone connections and SMS.

As against the standalone camera or existing mobile handsets with camera whose pictures have to be uploaded from a laptop or desktop computer, AirMe allows users to take photos with the three mega pixel camera of iPhone and upload with unique tags.

Photography and video are among the top five applications used on mobile phones. A recent study by global consulting and market research firm Deloitte revealed photo application was number one on the list of use at 63 percent. Video application accounted for 41 percent of users.

“AirMe is about sharing the moment in the moment. Every day we experience something new, unique and memorable. There are special moments in everyone’s lives and they just pass by. Our application is about sharing such moments as they happen,” Ruparel said.

Murthy hopes mobile phone users will find their application a great way to connect with their families and friends even on the move and share photos instantly.

“The application can be downloaded by users of Nokia and Sony Ericsson handsets in the next 40 days. In spite of a soft launch in the US July 12, there has been an overwhelming response to our application, with over 40,000 downloads till date from as many as 56 countries worldwide,” Murthy said.

The start-up has timed the official launch of AirMe in India with the entry of iPhone this week.

The co-founders are betting on 250,000 downloads over the next six months to enable them to get advertisers on board for generating revenue around the application.

“The uploaded photos can be viewed by anyone once they are authenticated or stored for private viewing. Going forward, other social sites such as Picasa on Google and Photo Bucket can be used for uploading and viewing,” Murthy noted.

The start-up plans to hard-sell the application to enterprises after scaling the volume of downloads in the consumer segment for creating a steady revenue stream.

“The advertisement will be non-intrusive and will not take away the privacy of users as the text or visual message will be wrapped around the application, akin to what search engines such as Google and Yahoo! do on their sites or e-mail accounts,” Ruparel added.

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