Dropbox has acquired startup Bubbli in order to secure the company's 3D photo-streaming technology.
According to TechCrunch, emails were sent out to users concerning the acquisition this week, stating that Dropbox purchased the company for its three-dimensional photo-stitching technology.
Financial details were not disclosed.
Developed by Stanford alumni Ben Newhouse and Terrence McArdle, the Bubbli app — still available on the iTunes store — gives users the chance to create "bubbles," 360-degree photo panoramas formed by stitching together photos through smartphone tilting and pivots. Users can then add sounds to their bubble creations before sharing them online.
An email sent to users said:
We have some exciting news to share: Dropbox has acquired Bubbli!
We're thrilled to be joining Dropbox. Bubbli’s goal has always been to capture experiences in a way that feels like you are not just viewing photos but reliving memories. By joining forces, we’ll be able to continue to transform how you experience your memories on a much larger scale.
Bubbli is currently working with Dropbox to integrate the technology, and for now, users can still enjoy the app and create as many bubbles as they please. However, the cloud storage provider is known for snapping up photo-related companies before eventually closing them down.
Dropbox acquired cloud-based photo library service Snapjoy in 2012. Users were able to collect photos from both online and offline sources before storing them in a cloud account, but this service was eventually closed down. In addition, Loom — which offered five gigabytes of free storage for photographic media — was purchased by Dropxbox before being shut.
However, as the publication points out, Bubbli is concerned with photographic artistry rather than simple storage services. As competition ramps up, Dropbox appears to want to be about more than storage, and Bubbli's technology would add attractive features to an already efficient service. In turn, by offering additional services that rivals such as Box do not possess, more Dropbox users may be tempted to turn premium.