Spincle allows everybody to shoot VR content on their smartphones

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VR content is really in the hands of the early adopters at the moment. For most consumers there’s just not much accessibility in creating VR moments.

Launching today out of TechCrunch Disrupt SF’s Startup Battlefield, Spincle is aiming to bring VR content capture to mobile in a way that’s highly shareable.

Quite a few apps have tried their hands at being the Instagram for 360-degree content. They’ve failed for the pretty obvious reason that 360 capture devices are only in the hands of VR nerds and particularly adventurous photographers. The connectivity of 360 cameras and the smartphones people are using to post content often requires multiple apps and way too much patience on the part of the user.

The best camera is the one you have on you. In almost every circumstance that’s your smartphone camera. Spincle wants to bring your camera new power and build out a couple of new types of 360 mediums.

The rebirth of the panorama as a 360 photo has been a bit of an odd rebranding brought about by Google’s Cardboard platform and the proliferation of cheapo headsets. This evolution has also brought about something called the “magic window” or headset-less VR, where you can spin the phone around you and have a bit of a virtual reality experience.

On the surface, Spincle is pretty much a social panorama app, but much in the way Apple “reinvented” the photo, Spincle is launching a pair of interesting formats that you can capture with your regular iPhone camera.

One of the prime criticisms of VR photos/videos is that they’re all context and don’t offer any focus. Spincle takes a unique spin on this by building a photo/video amalgam that turns certain aspects of the panorama into a video and keeps the rest a static image based on how you capture the scene. This gives you more of the context unique to the 360-degree medium, while giving the viewer a clear window into the environment’s “Instagrammable” moment.

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Spincle is a sharp-looking app with a nice UI for you to view your own 360 photos and videos, but the founding team realizes that social networks are a hard game to get into and they’re aiming to make it as easy as possible to share across platforms.

The files are exported as .mp4 files, but the company says that these 4K photo/video files are 20 times smaller than normal video files due to the company’s formatting techniques. Furthermore, the founders says these files will loop much like gifs when uploaded to Facebook, giving users a very unique interaction with content from Spincle when it pops up in their feeds.

The other interesting mode that the company has produced is a single-camera 3D-capture mode that utilizes the spin of the camera to create a stereoscopic image with limited parallax view. The medium gives everyone with a smartphone the ability to create a cool 3D image without complicated equipment. It’s a bit more accessible to those in the VR crowd that are semi-regularly toting headsets, but as Google Daydream preps for a launch in the coming months, that crowd is going to be quite a bit larger.

Even as Apple brings dual cameras to the iPhone 7 Plus and Lenovo gets ready to launch the first Tango-enabled phablet, it’s clear that cameras are getting smarter and more capable in capturing our environments and lives. Spincle brings some of these futuristic innovations to today’s smartphones in a shareable format that has a lot of potential to catch attention.