Picture This: Cool Photo and Video Walls

PALO ALTO, Calif. — One thing Cooliris has always had is a good demo.

The venture-backed company offers a very, well, cool way to display photos and images in a horizontal, scrollable 3-D wall of images. The application has attracted advertisers and a multitude of Web sites looking for new ways to show groups of product features or images or search through images on the Web. Over 10,000 Web sites use Cooliris’ technology, its executive vice president of products, Michele Turner, told InternetNews.com in a briefing here at the firm’s headquarters.

Now the company is looking to expand its reach with today’s announcement of Cooliris Express.

“You’ve been able to embed a photo of video wall, but until now that’s really been for developers with Flash and other Web skills. It’s a fair amount of work,” Turner said. “Our business model is not to do custom development work; instead we want to set it up so everyone that wants to can take advantage of Cooliris technology. So we’ve been focused on how to simplify things and make it really easy for consumers to get their content on social networking sites.”

Enter Cooliris Express, which simplifies the process of creating and embedding a Cooliris wall in a Web site, blog or social network.

A step-by-step wizard walks users through the gallery-building and posting process. First, it prompts them to locate their personal media-rich content, then it provides options for the sites to which the content will be posted and made viewable.

The whole process can be done in under a minute, according to Cooliris, which showed just that in a demo.

Content sources for creating a Cooliris wall or gallery can be from any number of sources on the Web, including photo- and video-sharing sites like Flickr, Picasa and YouTube or any media RSS feed.

On the posting side, Cooliris supports social media sites and blogs including: Twitter, Facebook, WordPress, TypePad, Netvibes, Yahoo, Hi5 and Orkut.

“Facebook works with our client and one of our top traffic sources already is viewing Facebook photos,” said Matt Wahl, a product manager at Cooliris, told InternetNews.com.

Cooliris also said it plans to later release a more advanced version of Express designed for Web developers and “premium content publishers.” The company said the new release will provide a “new, innovative way of delivering their media and advertising.”

While there are a number of photo and media-sharing sites, Turner believes Cooliris has a unique appeal.

“Horizontal scrolling is something we highly believe in. The brain doesn’t process vertical as well — it just doesn’t have the same natural feel” as looking side-to-side.

Cooliris already has an iPhone application and plans to do more next year in the mobile area, including support for additional platforms.

“Down the line, the Web and mobile experience should be seamless,” Turner said.

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