gravid video hot spotsGravidi is a startup that chose SXSW to launch a new iPad app that provides the ability to add hotspots to video.

Truth told, it’s really nothing new. Apple’s Quicktime and slew of 3 rd party applications were out about 7 to 12 years ago with the ability to add hotspots in videos and VR content. I’d show you some examples parked on some old drives from my video/vr days but none of them will run on a Circa 2009 iMac and I’m not about to dig the old G4 out of the closet. That reminds me, I need to recycle ole “Bertha”. She was my first Mac love when I told Windows I had found another and wouldn’t put up with any more blue screens of death. (Bertha went both ways too……. She would boot to OS 9 or the first version of OSX whenever I asked.)

The ability to navigate an entire Virtual Tour with hotspots makes perfect sense to me. Navigating from one room to another gives the user the feel of actually touring a property. Seems to me you would want that ability in a real estate video as well but it has never really caught on with anything I’ve seen outside of big productions for museums etc. Unless I’ve missed something, which is entirely possible.

I think hotspots are a great opportunity for developing community based RE content. Hotspots to local points of interest gives an end user the ability to get a better feel for the neighborhood. If it’s
walkable”, why not make the video “walkable”? You could even pepper in some links to “man on the street” quickie interviews about why your subject loves living in “Insert Your Neighborhood Here”. It provides a great way to craft some narrowcasted lifestyle content. Beats using the same old stock photos over and over and it’s and SEO goldmine to boot.

The Gravidi team has their app focused on music videos. I’m sure they have thought of other verticals. But hey, why complicate things during your launch? Clicking on the lead guitarist of a rock band to find out how many hotel rooms he’s trashed is a lot more fun when you’re living on Ramen and Red Bull writing code 24-7. They launched at SXSW, so it made sense from that standpoint too since SXSW has so much emphasis on music these days. I just hope for the sake of the Gravidi team they aren’t crafting a business model solely based on being able to click out to Tickemaster, iTunes, Pandora and Spotify. That idea has dot com dustbin written all over it. Putting too much emphasis on real estate is a beeline path to the same fate. I think traction for this kind of app is going to require a wide range of application ideas and there are certainly many.

Perhaps the concept never really gained any traction because of poor implementation or exposure. I’m not sure. One thing’s a foregone conclusion. The input devices of the future are your human digits. There’s one heck of alot of iPads out there. Maybe it’s time to revisit the concept.

Your thoughts? Is there anyone other than flash based VR tours out there doing this right now? Also, who has the best example of lifestyle based video content these days? Drop some links and your ideas in the comments.