When I first saw Cycloramic on the list of businesses for episode 502, I thought it was a bicycle product, not a panoramic photo app. The second thing I thought was “Oh crikey, not another photo app in the Tank!” After I did a little reading up on Cycloramic, I changed my tune. Entrepreneur Bruno Francois pitches the app to the Sharks in episode 502 on January 31, and he's sure to put the Sharks “on edge” with his invention.
Panoramic photos are tricky. With a standard smart phone or snapshot camera, you have to pan the landscape slowly to get a panoramic shot and they don't always come out right. Of course, you could spend big bucks on a DSLR with a panoramic lens, but a good panoramic photo app that does the job has more mass appeal. What makes Cycloramic so cool is how it takes panoramic photos.
You can pan the way you do now for a panoramic shot and the guided panorama mode “seamlessly stitches” the image together; in other words – it's a smart app. The coolest is the “hands free” mode: set your phone on edge and the app rotates your phone 360 degrees while taking a panoramic photo. It takes good pictures AND entertains – phone geeks will go nuts for this.
Cycloramic comes with a complete set of photo editing tools, too. While they may or may not be as good as anything out there already, since they're built into the app, it's far more convenient. You can snap the panoramic photo and enhance or bedazzle it any way you want right inside the app.
My Take on the Panoramic Photo App
I have a problem with the way smart phones are making people into downward looking drones, so I'm not a huge fan of apps in general, but today's phones take better pictures than all but the priciest DSLR set ups, so anything that makes photography easier is OK. At least watching the smart phone spin around will become a somewhat communal event as folks marvel at the dancing camera before sticking their face back into their own phones.
At 99 cents, it's priced like many other apps, though it'll be interesting to see if they jack up the price after their appearance. They have a bunch of upsells and add-ons for different effects and an added storage option inside the app, so there's more revenue to be had once somebody downloads it.
If it actually works and takes good panoramic shots, it's probably one of the only apps I've EVER seen on Shark Tank that I'd actually download. I like taking pictures and getting all artsy with it. I like outdoor shots too, which tend to make good panoramic photos. There are a lot of other photo enthusiasts that likely share my sentiments.
Do Sharks Like Cycloramic's Spin?
With last week's investment in GrooveBook, photography is obviously something the Sharks believe in. They have not invested in a true photo app yet in season 5, though. If Cycloramic can show they have good numbers, this is just cool enough to field an offer or two. I have no clue what Steve Tisch is going to do on this one, but I can't see Daymond or Lori bidding on this – it's not their kind of business.
Mark and Mr. Wonderful are the likely Sharks with an interest. If Mark likes Bruno, the business model, and the app, he'll make an offer. Mark has a history of investing in solid tech companies in the Tank. Mr. Wonderful knows more about tech than he lets on, so he might be interested, too. The only problem is he'll have to figure out how to get a royalty on every photo taken! Regardless of what the Sharks do, I am “IN” for 99 cents and a spinning iPhone.