If you've been keeping an eye on the new Apple Watch, you may have noticed that Apple has decided to use 360º views as the primary way to showcase their new up and coming product line. Although this is exciting news for the 360º product photography industry, this is not that surprising. Why? Apple has been known to utilize 360º product photography for many of their products over the years.
I've noticed that they often adopt 360º views to showcase significant product updates, like the first iMac and the new EarPods, among other things. They do this, I believe, because a 360º view – when it's done correctly – can enhance a product viewing experience far beyond that of a static image. But it has to be done right.
With that said, here are a few things I like about Apple's 360º view...
- It loads fast (super important!).
- It looks sharp.
- The inertial spinning is pretty fun and easy to control.
- It spins very smoothly! It looks like they use 90 frames for this 360º view. An interesting number, but it seems to hit that sweet spot between loading speed and the smoothness of the spin.
While they did a good job, there were a few things they could improve on...
- Fullscreen mode. It would be awesome to see it spin using the full size of my computer screen. At Imajize, we were able to successfully incorporate fullscreen mode by utilizing multi-resolution detection. It took a lot of developer hours to solve, but it was well-worth it in the long run. I assume Apple disabled fullscreen mode in this case because loading 88 frames at high res would likely push many web browsers past the limit, causing it to respond slowly or simply crash.
- Zoom. Doing zoom is easy, but doing it perfectly is not. We were actually able to use parts of our fullscreen technology and carry it over into hi-res zoom. In Apple's case, I would love to be able to zoom in so I can see the back of the Apple Watch in more detail. I'm quite fond of its design. Apple is a minimalist, so it's possible that this philosophy influenced the decision to axe zoom.
- When all of the images are loaded, it spins to a 45º angle, and while it's a smooth spin, it spins a little too far and jumps back a few frames. This doesn't seem intentional. Yes, it's a small detail that few will notice, but still, this is an improvement that would bring it slightly closer to perfection.
That's all I can think of off the top of my head, but I have to compliment Apple on doing a good job with their 360º views to showcase their new watch. It looks good. I wish them the best of luck when their product launches later this April.