You're probably wondering what Color CEO Bill Nguyen and his team have been up to since the app for seeing and sharing photos with those around you launched -- then fizzled -- this spring [ see our story ]. The problem: every time you opened the app, no one was there.
As we learned from a company source, the Color team realized they needed to build their app around Facebook's huge membership. In development for the last six months, Color is previewing the new version of their app for iOS and Android phones at the f8 conference today.
The app still has the ability to take and share photos -- now with Facebook friends who are nearby -- but the big news is that Color will let you "visit" your friends. They're calling it a "social gesture" similar to a "like." It clearly puts Color on the lifecasting path [ see our profile of the Kogeto panoramic camera Dot ].
Here's how it works. Take a photo with the app Color and it will appear in friends' Facebook news feeds.
Once they open the photo, they can hit the "visit" button [ see image at top ], and you will receive a notification on your phone. When you accept the request, your camera phone will start a live broadcast (with no sound) of what you are seeing. Friends who are allowed to see the photo can also see your stream -- your audience is shown at the bottom of the screen. Your friends don't have to use the Color app to see what you're doing. And if you don't want to start a live broadcast, that's okay -- friends will only see that you're not available.
Right now there's no ability to record your broadcast, but the gatherings will be chronicled in your Facebook profile. Also, while the app works on the iPad, it's optimized for mobile phones.
The team is still testing the app with a group that includes Harvard students and friends and family, with plans to refine it based on feedback and how testers are using it.