With Snapchat launching 360 video ads with Sony earlier this year, it is interesting to see how else the tech may be used among users. Would there be as much pickup among users who want to send 360 videos to their users? How would it work? Pie intends to find out.
Pie is an app for iPhones where users can record 360 videos of themselves and share them with friends. Users can also plug in a compatible 360 camera and record themselves making some fun actions, then share them with their followers in an Instagram-like platform. It is compatable with the Ricoh Theta S, LG’s 360 Cam, or the new Nikon KeyMission 360.
Co-Founder Ceci Mourkogiannis explains ‘we are excited about the long-term possibilities of VR as it relates to 360 video, but today we want to serve the 2 billion people who already own smartphones and give them a way to create and watch 360 videos that fits into their everyday lives.’ In short, Pie is a social media platform for 360 videos, emulating the sleek and intuitive design of other social apps.
However, after using the software, the best use of the software is when you can submit 360 videos, not mobile clips. The mobile version provides a swabbing mechanic where users can swipe through a clip, and though it is fun to use, it lacks the appeal and bounce of Snapchat. In my eyes, the best use of Pie is with a 360 camera.
The video first seen at the app’s beginning is a smooth recording of the team discussing how it works, and the demo demonstrates how effective it can be – with a swivel chair, I can look around and hear the narration of the team. That said, it does have a strange fish-eye quality of the recording which is prevalent among many cameras.
On the face of it, Pie is fun to use. Though use of the software include a rather sub-par recording of my home and bedroom, the tools are intuitive and responsive for use with an iPhone. My main issue is its wider application – not many people would have a 360 camera for use quite yet, and though the software is solid, I cannot see many people using the iPhone recording option for social sharing. Even if it means more people can use the app, I can’t see how it can replace Instagram or Snapchat in regards to iPhone video sharing.
That said, it would be great for festivals: bring a camera and make a video of the raving crowds and festivities, and you have an excellent video to share on social media, particularly Instagram which it is compatible with. I feel that’s its best home, at least in its current state.
At its heart, Pie wants to position itself as the 360 video creation home. It’s smart, clever, and thoughtful – one which feels right to use. Certainly with the number of investors it has, it looks poised to take the market by force, though time will tell if their investments are sound. If you can afford a 360 camera, and you are seeing Coldplay or attending Glastonbury, Pie is the best platform to share your 360 video creations.
You can download the app here.