PicLens is a new photo viewing plug in from CoolIris. The tool lets user watch a full screen slide show of any photo series from Flickr, Photobucket, Facebook, and image search results Google, Yahoo!, and Ask. The software is sparse on features and user control so far, but it’s so visually compelling that you’ll likely enjoy using it quite a lot anyway. This first version is available only for Safari.
CoolIris is a company we’ve written about here before. Their flagship product to date has been a browser plug in that provides pop up previews of search results and other web pages. Some people like it, but others (myself included) find it more jarring than useful. This new product is much more fun to use. CoolIris also offers a free ring tone creation service, something a number of companies are starting to do.
After downloading the plug-in, pictures on any of the supported sites display a two box icon when hovered over. Clicking on that icon takes you to a full screen view to launch a slide show. Only the images that are displayed on the page you launched PicLens from are currently viewable in the slide show (so 18 in Google images, 24 in Flickr) and there doesn’t appear to be any way to change the speed the images are displayed at. As a first proof of concept though, it’s great. It’s an easy thing for any Safari user to download and use for enhanced image viewing. Hopefully a Firefox plug-in will be offered some day. The company says a Windows version will be available soon.
There’s probably no way to monetize it directly, wrapping ads around thumbnail images is risky enough – putting a post roll advertisement after a slide show of some one else’s images in full size would be impossible.