Photos are everywhere today as more and more people document their lives. With over two billion photos being shared every day, a new platform like Loop is a welcome invention. Loop is a brand new personal photo display that’s making its big debut at CES next month. Loop lets people easily share and view all of their photos and videos that are locked away in devices and scattered across social media. Loop makes it easy for both the sender and receiver, streaming your entire world of photos and videos to your home or office with ease.
Loop, by California Labs, is based in San Francisco. The company is backed by Resolute Ventures and BoxGroup and was founded by Brian Gannon, Ethan Ballweber and Sital Mistry. Brian Gannon is the Founder of California Labs. Brian worked as a chip designer before creating and product managing the Display and Video processing lines at Maxim Integrated. Brian attended MIT and worked at Boston Consulting Group. Ethan Ballweber is an industrial designer from Altitude design and RISD. Ethan designed UI for WIMM Wearables, which is now part of Google Wear. Sital Mistry, ran engineering for Zynga’s “Words with Friends,” the world’s most popular mobile word game.
Essentially, Loop enables users to send family photos to the whole family, create customizable channels and gives users the ability to invite friends and family to send photos to their Loop or browse in under four minutes. According to the official description:
Loop streams pictures from Dropbox, Facebook, Instagram, Flickr, iPhoto, Google Photos and lets people share directly from an iOS or Android phone. Pictures are organized into channels based on subject (Tokyo 2015) or source (Kate’s Instagram) to help curate the viewing experience. Loop includes two analog knobs on the side for moving through pictures and changing channels. Users can use air gestures to pause a photo or they can tap the top of the device to ‘like’ pictures… Loop has a high resolution 2048×1536 display and comes in “navy-gray” and arctic white. Loop can store and play videos that are sent directly to Loop and can stream videos that are stored in the cloud. Video capture devices like GoPro simply plug into the media slot allowing users to automatically enjoy endless action. The four hour rechargeable battery makes gathering around Loop simple from any room in the home.
“Loop creates a lean back experience in the home that brings all your personal pictures and videos to the places that you spend the most time, like your kitchen, living room or bedside table. It cuts through the friction of sharing pictures and videos with close family to keep you better connected around those moments you want to share,” said Loop CEO and Founder Brian Gannon. “It is a direct line of communication that doesn’t require digging through apps or logging into social media.”
“Loop creates an amazing platform to building more integrations into the connected home and other streaming services.” Says Mike Hirshland, General Partner of Resolute Ventures and creator of Dogpatch labs where Instagram was founded. “We’re excited to see what the developer community will do with Loop and the many ways people will be able to use this beautiful device.”
Loop features include a 9” retina quality display, analog knobs for scrolling through pictures and changing channels, a free iOS and Android app, four hour battery life, dual speakers, a touch sensitive top surface, gesture recognition, local storage of approximately 5,000 pictures or 75 minutes of video, unlimited streaming pictures from online sources, a storage/backup policy and encrypted backup of all pictures in the cloud. Recently Brian Gannon, the Founder and CEO of Loop, spoke to the Examiner about his experiences working with the company:
Meagan Meehan (M.M.): How and when were you inspired to start Loop?
Brian Gannon (B.G.): About two years ago, I wanted a simpler way to share pictures of my son Alex in San Francisco with my father who lives across the country in Boston. I found that even tablets and smartphones required the effort of turning on or logging in. So I made a simple Wi-Fi connected display that was connected to my smartphone. It worked great. Then I started using the device for myself in my own home with my wife and realized that a simple passive display was the amazing experience in the home for anyone who has a lot of pictures and videos – which is basically everyone with a smartphone now. The timing seemed perfect so I quit my job with a 2-year-old and a pregnant wife and launched the company!
M.M.: How, exactly, does Loop work?
B.G.: Loop connects to your home Wi-Fi. You then connect it to your favorite sources such as Google photos, Flickr, Instagram or Dropbox. Each one of these can be put into a “channel” and all you need to do is turn the channel knob on the side to tune into the pictures and videos that you want. You can also create a channel where you send pictures directly from your smartphone. You simply open the app and tap the destination Loop. In seconds the picture arrives and is waiting in the frame! Loop also plays videos. We have found that people are more and more into video and that they want to create a video channel where they can sit back and enjoy their videos in long form, rather than in short 10 seconds clips like we do with smartphones.
M.M.: Do you have plans to release any other products and/or services in the near future?
B.G.: Yes, but we are a startup and need to focus on delivering the first experience really.
M.M.: Thus far, what has been the most rewarding part of working with Loop?
B.G.: Working with this amazing team. I have been very fortunate to find amazing people to work with.
M.M.: Where do you hope Loop will be in ten years?
B.G.: I hope that Loop becomes an important brand in the home to people that they can trust and rely on daily to make their lives better.
M.M.: Are there any upcoming projects and/or events that you would like to mention?
B.G.: We will be demonstrating our product at Pepcom January 5th at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.
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Loop is available for $199. To learn more, visit the official website.