A group of Toronto-based ex-Google employees launched a new app from TechCrunch Disrupt San Francisco that allows Android users to take photos, then animate specific areas of the frame.
Alex Kennberg is the founder of Free Point Inc. and is the man behind the app. He’s also a former technical lead on products like the Google+ mobile app after working with Google for four years. But now he’s left the search giant to launch his own startup with partner Marcelo Cortes, who also worked at Google for two years as a senior software engineer. The pair’s first app, now available in Google Play, is Pictoreo.
Pictoreo allows users to take short videos with an Android smartphone, but freezes most of the frame as if it were a photo. The user then “paints” the area of the frame they want to add motion too. The effect is one that makes you look twice. The art form has been trademarked as cinemagraphs by New York-based graphics artist Kevin Burg and photographer Jamie Beck.
It’s not the only startup in Toronto with a Cinemagraph creation app. Flixel Photos Inc. released its iPhone app in April and a major update July 25. It hit 100,000 users in the first 20 days.
Similar to Instagram, Pictoreo also includes a social networking component so users can show off their art and see what’s being done by others.