Archives for February 18, 2011

Exclaim surpasses 400,000 paid subscribers for mobile apps

Exclaim Mobility, Princeton, N.J., a provider of mobile photo sharing and socialization applications, surpassed the milestone of 400,000 paid subscribers. Exclaim’s Pictavision app has received an unprecedented 116,000 five-out-of-five star ratings in AT&T’s AppCenter, where it is consistently a top seller. Exclaim’s flagship app, Snap Mobile, also continues to grow in popularity.

In just the past four months, Exclaim has grown its paying subscriber base from 250,000 users to more than 400,000. The company was recently recognized by AT&T’s Developer Program with the Deliver Award for outstanding sales and marketing.

Caricature Studio 6 brings amusement park-style photo novelties to the desktop

Novelty Photo Software, Clearlake Oaks, Calif., released a new version of their caricature software that creates novelty photoson the desktop. Caricature Studio 6 allows users to apply a variety of effects and overlays to any photo. Personalized greetings, fliers and web graphics are just a few applications. The photo-to-cartoon filters and talk bubbles make custom comics and cartoon panels. For a last-minute economical gift that will make a big impact, an inexpensive frame and matte can be used to create an instant signature frame. Create a fake magazine cover from a favorite photo of the recipient, then add one of over 100 templates included with the software. Friends and family can sign the matte and add personal anecdotes.

Caricature Studio 6 is available both as an instant digital download from the company’s website.

In Compliance: Lead paint in commercial buildings

The next major action from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) affecting building renovation and repair will likely be a rule to control lead-based paint hazards in public and commercial buildings. The rule will be directed at buildings not addressed in the April 2008 EPA rule; the 2008 rule covered lead-based paint hazards created by renovation, repair, and painting in target housing (i.e., most housing built before 1978) and child-occupied facilities, which includes some public housing.

The upcoming rule will cover the remaining pre-1978 public buildings and commercial buildings that are not child-occupied facilities. Following issuance of the 2008 rule, EPA reached an agreement with environmental and children’s health advocacy groups to issue a proposal to regulate renovations of the exteriors of public and commercial buildings other than child-occupied facilities.

In the May 2010 advanced notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPR), EPA notes several key factors that will guide the upcoming proposal. One important consideration is renovations on the exteriors of public and commercial buildings can create hazards in target housing and child-occupied facilities. EPA explains lead dust can travel in the environment and has been shown to be readily tracked into homes and other buildings. Another factor is a 1978 ban by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) on the use of paint containing more than 0.06 percent lead by weight on interior and exterior surfaces of buildings used by consumers specifically exempted industrial and commercial building and equipment maintenance coatings.

With this exemption in mind, EPA raises the question of how to define public and commercial buildings in the context of the rulemaking. The definition is critical because it dictates the number of buildings that would be covered. The actual restrictions, likely an eventual rule, will impose the controls now practiced by renovators.

These include practices such as:

  • Closing the windows of the building during exterior renovations and the windows of other buildings adjacent to the work area
  • Placing plastic on the ground to capture fallen chips and dust during exterior renovations
  • Avoiding exterior renovations during windy conditions
  • Sealing off the work area for interior renovations

The EPA advanced notice was published in the May 6, 2010, edition of Federal Register.

InVisage secures series C venture funding

InVisage Technologies Inc., Menlo Park, Calif., received its series C round of venture funding, led by Intel Capital. The undisclosed amount will be used to bring the company’s QuantumFilm technology and products into mass production. Intel Capital joins InVisage’s existing investors RockPort Capital, InterWest Partners, OnPoint Technologies and Charles River Ventures.

“Image sensors for smart phones and handheld devices are a huge market opportunity and InVisage is well positioned to capture significant market share,” says Dave Flanagan, managing director, Intel Capital. “InVisage is the first company in a while to think differently about image sensors and we are confident that its products will lead the imaging market on a new vector of innovation.”

QuantumFilm is based on quantum dots — semiconductors with unique light-capture properties. To learn more about InVisage and its QuantumFilm technology, listen to a DIMAcast interview with Michael Hepp, director of marketing for InVisage.

More than 50 new effects now available on FX Photo Studio HD

MacPhun,  New York, N.Y., announces an update to FX Photo Studio HD, a photo processing app available for the iPad. The update will include more than 53 additional new effects, giving FX Photo Studio HD the largest variety of photo effects and filters of any app on the iTunes App Store, MacPhun says.

The update also adds a customizable interface that allows users to label their most often used effects as favorites, save combinations of effects into presets, and share images and presets via social channels like Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Flickr as well as email. Individual effects themselves can also be adjusted for deeper customization, and with a total of 181 photo effects and filters, endless possibilities now await iPad users and their cherished images.

FX Photo Studio HD 3.0 is US$2.99 and available worldwide exclusively through the App Store in the Photography category.