June 7, 2011, 12:43 PM

Incase gets past Apple’s Flash ban to showcase 360-degree imagery on Apple devices

The retailer uses technology that combines two web languages to animate products.

Lead Photo

Incase showcases 360-degree imagery without having to use Flash.

Bag and case retailer Incase wanted to employ 360-degree views of its products to give consumers more confidence in their buying decisions and increase conversion. Many 360-degree systems rely on Flash technology to create the moving images. The problem is Flash does not work on Apple Inc.’s iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad, three very popular mobile devices.

Incase wanted to ensure a good web experience for everyone accessing its site, and turned to KSC Kreate, a creative agency specializing in visual content creation and digital content management, which offers a 360-degree rich media product viewer that does not require Flash.

“We were looking to provide a more dynamic online experience that included improved product interaction for our customers,” says Frank Balle, director of consumer sales and support at Incase. “The 360-degree photography software allows users to get close to the products and view them as if they were in a store.”

KSC Kreate worked with technology provider Beyond 360 Imaging to create the non-Flash product viewer. While there are plug-ins—tiny pieces of software a consumer can download and incorporate into a web browser—that do enable Flash on Apple and other devices, KSC Kreate felt that process required too much time of a mobile consumer, who typically is on the go and demands a speedy experience. So the two companies looked elsewhere for a solution.

They found it in the combination of two web languages, PHP and Javascript. They use the two language to take 24 to 36 distinct images of a product and rotate them in order. They compare the process to “flipbook animation,” where a person draws slowly progressing images on each page of a notebook and then uses his thumb to quickly flip through the pages to create animation.

KSC Kreate then creates one URL, or Universal Resource Locator, that ties together all the resources needed to bring a product to 360-degree life regardless of the device on which it is being viewed. Incase has embedded the product viewer and URLs for each product on its e-commerce site.

The cost for the 360-degree non-Flash technology begins at $100 per product.

“As online shopping grows in popularity,” says Brad Tuckman, president of KSC Kreate, “smart retailers like Incase are recognizing the importance of dynamic product imagery, especially in relation to mobile devices.”

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