Liz Gannes

Recent Posts by Liz Gannes

Forget Photo-Sharing; DabKick Is All About Photo-Showing

Ever want to walk someone through your vacation photos while you’re chatting with them on the phone?

Your best options might be using video chat or screen-sharing, or working out an awkward routine where you tell the other person to advance to the next picture. But it’s not really like being in the same room sharing a physical photo album, where you can look at good quality images and flip pages forward and backward together.

To that end, DabKick today publicly launched a set of tools to help people share pictures with each other remotely — live.

“We actually don’t use the word ‘share’; it’s ‘show’ because it’s real-time,” said Balaji Krishnan, co-founder of DabKick.

Krishnan has put together a very small team — just three people — who have built an iOS app, Web site and bookmarklet tool to grab content from around the Web.

He said DabKick’s technology is similar to VoIP, rather than screen-sharing, which “is ridiculously slow, because it’s transferring pixel by pixel.” Instead, DabKick breaks photos into chunks for peer-to-peer streaming, while uploading each picture to the cloud so it can be more quickly accessed if it’s viewed again.

Krishnan may not be famous in tech circuits, but he has a knack for coming up with novel ways to handle online media. His last company was Snapstick, which helped stream Web content to the TV, and was bought by Rovi for $20 million in cash earlier this year.

This time around, DabKick is starting out with $200,000 backing from Gree, which Krishnan said is out of an interest by the game maker to have players brag to their friends about their moments of achievement within games.

Within the Dabkick app, which currently only supports one-to-one sharing of photos, either user can control the screen by adding new pictures or swiping between them. They can also use the Bing API to find public images.

If they send content to a friend who is offline or doesn’t have DabKick, it shows up like a voicemail message, and recipients can view the content on the Web without downloading the app.

Krishnan points out that the notion of temporary media sharing is a hot topic lately, with the self-destructing photo and video app Snapchat and its competitors. One benefit of DabKick is that photos are simply shown within a session, rather than shared permanently. And, unlike Snapchat, DabKick is live.

While, for me, DabKick seems to fill a pretty niche experience — c’mon, how many times are you scratching your head looking for a way to walk someone through your vacation albums, or look at random images from Bing — Krishnan said his ultimate goal is to open DabKick to other developers. He has visions of media sites like Shutterfly adding DabKick, or karaoke apps using DabKick to help people sing together.

“My goal is for everyone to see a ‘Dab’ button next to every piece of media, and know you can immediately share it and show it to a friend,” Krishnan said.

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