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June 27, 1997updated 05 Sep 2016 1:08pm

UK START-UP PANORMANIA LOOKS TO RIVAL APPLE’S QUICKTIME VR

By CBR Staff Writer

Panormania Ltd, a small UK start-up, is set to rival Apple Computer Inc’s QuickTime VR with its Object Videos technology that it says typically halves the file size of an equivalent QuickTime offering. Object Videos enables the viewer to see an object in 360 degrees and move around that object in a similar way to Apple’s product. Object Videos is more sophisticated than QuickTime VR though. It can zoom in on images, a spokesperson for Panormania said. The smaller file size makes it ideal for use on Web pages, reducing files to anything from 40Kb to 100Kb compared to something like 200Kb for a QuickTime file, according to James Franklin, senior graphic designer and photographer at Panormania. Panormania is using the Round Shot 35 camera, designed especially for QuickTime VR type applications, from Swiss camera specialist, Seitz. It exposes a complete 360 degree panorama to 35mm film. In addition, the company uses Surround Video technology from Black Diamond Consulting Inc which works by melding together the photographs to create a fluid 360 degree view and is what enables the smaller file sizes. Object Videos uses Microsoft Corp’s ActiveX controls so that it can be automatically downloaded to the user’s machine. The company said it has no plans to license out the technology at this stage, but instead said it will keep it for in-house consultancy projects. Oxford-based Panormania was set up four months ago to specialise in exploiting the use of photography on the Web. It is the sister company to Domino Systems Ltd, an established Internet design company that has carried out Web design work for the likes of Microsoft Corp, Dell Computer Corp, 3Com Corp and Jaguar Cars.

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