– Embargoes – Tech and More

April 20, 2011

A little over a week ago I was approached by a technology company to keep a secret. They wanted me to review an iPhone application but not tell anyone about it. That runs counter to what any journalist is about. Why would you put a product through its paces and then keep your findings quiet?

Well, in the industry there are things called embargoes. These are agreements, sometimes REALLY FORMAL agreements that you won’t let the cat – or the app – out of the bag before the device, technology or company is ready for prime time. Embargoes are usually crap, just manufactured timeframes that allow PR teams to get their story straight and to arrange for a coordinated splash in the media. That’s why I usually don’t agree to keep them.

When I say no, most companies say, “OK, we’ll send you the product or a code to use the application right before launch.” But in this case I said yes because I believed the reason for the embargo was to get the application ironed out. And it seems to be.

So, what’s the app? It’s called and it’s similar to any of those stitcher devices you can get to meld photos together on your smartphone. Instead of taking a bunch of photos and then loading them into an application, this new app has you keep the phone in one spot while you start the in-app video recorder and then walk in a circle. *It also comes in an app for the iPad.

When the process is done – they recommend you take between 20 and 40 seconds to do your filming – the finished view is a 360° picture of your location. I took one at Fenway Park the other day from the Luxury Box in right field. The view is great and the app worked pretty well.

Here’s the link to the ‘scape’ so you can see it for yourself. When you go to this link you can actually scroll around the entire view – it’s cool.

Finally, this app is already available in the iTunes Store. It’s free. And it’s been created by a company right here in Massachusetts. The firm, EveryScape, calls itself…

a pioneer in immersive advertising. Just as websites gave local businesses a front door, EveryScape’s immersive ads open the door and invite visitors to come in, look around, and stay awhile. EveryScape invented the technology that transforms 2D still photos of a local business into a new 3D online presence that allows people to “walk around” and explore as if they were there in person. By mimicking a businesses’ real-world retail presence, immersive ads provide instant answers to otherwise subjective questions regarding local businesses – answers that cannot be answered by text and flat imagery alone.

I’m not sure there are any pioneers left in today’s technology age. But from an esthetic point of view, I like what the application does and I like how easy it was to share the image with people. It could be really cool for showing events, dinner, venues and travel imagery. And also for showing crime scenes, seating, classrooms and more. I think the next step in this is to make it full video so you can interact with it in real time.

Oooh, Skype with 360° video chat would be cool.

Let me know what you think of And also let me know if you’d let yourself be held to an embargo – why or why not?