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Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Smartphone app pick: Photosynth

With so many apps out there, it’s hard to find good ones that are easy to use … and free. I’m surprised it took me this long to find Photosynth, which has been out for a year.

Many realtors may remember the 360-degree virtual tour program called IPIX, which was a revolutionary way to present homes online. It cost roughly $100 per tour and was problematic because it required the utmost precision and control, which even top photographers couldn’t master.

If you hire a videographer to give a real tour of your home, that can be expensive, too; I’ve also seen a lot of so-called “videos” where realtors basically get a slide show of still shots set to music.

Of course, now, if you’re savvy enough, you can use your phone to shoot video yourself, and upload it to YouTube on the fly. But what if you want to present a hybrid of video and still images, so viewers can zoom in on items they like?

I discovered Photosynth when my friend Doug Mashino wanted to show me a crazy floor-to-ceiling, 360-degree exhibit at the Hirshorn exhibit in Washington, DC. He captured the image, then tweeted it to me. Click here to try it.

He did his Photosynth on a whim; click here for an exceptional example of one done by a Florida developer of one of their homes. As you can see, you can swing around either way using your mouse or their buttons. You can zoom in on anything you like, and zoom out to get a different perspective. (The zoom is a nice feature that a video can’t give you.)

Although it’s ideal to do a full 360 like the first two examples, you can also just show a simple panorama, like this one of Lanikai Beach.

Best of all, it’s free. Even better, if you mess up, you can just take the image over until you get it right. Your company’s marketing director can now breathe a sigh of relief.
Click here for the iPhone app
Click here for the Windows phone app

Posted on Wednesday, September 26, 2012 in Permalink

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Honolulu Real Estate focuses on the Hawaii housing market, condos and homes for sale, Hawaii rentals and general news about real estate in Hawaii. It also includes stories on apartment living, home decor and profiles.

Melissa Chang graduated from the University of Hawaii with a degree in journalism and has been blogging since 2007, mostly on food and travel. She works primarily in social media, so you can find her online @Melissa808 on Twitter and Instagram.


Jaymes Song is a real estate agent at Prudential Advantage Realty in Kahala. Jaymes is in the top 7 percent of Prudential agents nationwide. Previously, Jaymes was at The Orange County Register, Honolulu Star-Bulletin and rose through the ranks to overseeing news and operations for AP in Hawaii and the Pacific Rim. Jaymes lives in the Portlock area and loves his real full-time job of being dad to two curious kids.

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