Luminate Aims to Turn Web-Based Images to Interactive Apps

The folks at the company formerly known as Pixazza, if you've ever heard of them of course, have rebranded themselves as "Luminate", launching today a brand new platform that'll allow web-based images to act as mini-applications. What this will do, essentially, is if you take a look at the image below this paragraph, you'll see several elements that, if you were looking at them in a real-world setting, you'd be able to touch and get a reaction out of. What Luminate intends to do is make that situation a reality inside the web browser with minimal effort on the part of the developer or webmaster who wishes to have said functionality.

One of the already-functional elements involved in this project is a mouseover situation in which should the mouse be on top of a pair of shoes in an image, information would pop up pertaining to those shoes, etcetera. This sort of functionality has been in the web for many years, that being made possible with what's called an "Image Map," but this solution promises to be much more 2011, if you know what I mean. This functionality has allowed what was then called Pixazza to rack up 4,000 publishers using the tech. Chief Executive Bob Lisbonne notes that the company now has much higher aspirations, including turning once-flat images into experiences:

"Image apps transform images from static pixels into interactive experiences," says Lisbonne. "Just as phones evolved from merely voice calls to smartphones with apps, now consumers can enjoy relevant apps inside every online image. The explosive use of images fueled by mobile, social, and cloud computing trends sets the stage for Luminate's pioneering new image apps platform."

This functionality will be active in the very near future through a "Luminate" icon int he corners of images that have been prepared with the technology. You'll be able to share specific points on the image with friends over social networks, you'll be able to have a variety of image apps in the same image, and you'll be able to read Geo Tag or Wiki information dealing with the image. It's all very broad at the moment, as you may have guessed, Luminate claiming to span the following key categories: Commerce, Information, Social, Organization, Advertising, Navigation, Public Service, and Presentation.

Will such functionality change the web for the better, or clog it up with more advertising nonsense?