Google acquires 360-degree photo specialist Digisfera

19 Oct 2015

A 360-degree shot of last year's World Cup final, which Digisfera worked on

Google’s latest acquisition, that of Portuguese start-up Digisfera, looks set to further enhance the company’s dominant maps service, as it brings in a company that works entirely with panoramic photography.

A way to enhance its Street View, which is already very cool, Google’s purchase of Digisfera was announced on the start-up’s website, with the five-year-old company hoping to “continue building great experiences using 360o photography”.

Digisfera’s work includes some pretty breathtaking imagery, including a project at last year’s World Cup.

The company’s two tools, PanoTag and Marzipano, which allow developers to add interactive tagging to their photos, and process and export the finished product, have each been discontinued amid the acquisition.

“Thank you to all of our customers and friends who have supported us along the way!” Digisfera said following the announcement.

Last month, Google made Street View available as its own app, with the ability to view photospheres (Google’s 360o images) direct on mobile quite appealing.

Were it to incorporate Digisfera’s capabilities from the get-go, this would drastically improve.

It has also invested in a German research hub to help develop better AI capabilities, which again could utilise some of Street View’s capabilities.

Gordon Hunt was a journalist with Silicon Republic