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Ting business Arqball creates accessible photography tools


Arqball’s game-changing photography tools

Do you ever stop and look around and ask yourself, how would the world change if there was no Internet? Sure you’d probably spend a lot less time looking at cat videos, but what about the big stuff? What about the game-changing innovations that have helped shape the economy, accessibility and the ability for small businesses to compete globally?

Without the Internet, there would be no Arqball or Arqspin, that’s for sure. And are we ever glad the Internet (not to mention, crazy fast fiber Internet) is around to help them do the kind of work they do.

We had the chance to catch up with Michael Holroyd, Director at Arqball and Nathan Blessing, Director of Business Development and Logistics for Arqspin. We talked about all things Arqball, their incredible Arqspin software and how Ting Internet powers their business all over the world.

Born in Charlottesville

Arqball was founded in 2010 by Holroyd and two professors at the University of Virginia. Holroyd was wrapping up his thesis on a complicated type of 3D scanning that had practical applications for him and other people in his field but wasn’t ready for commercialization. He saw opportunities beyond the academic world.

Not long after its inception, the nascent Arqball team was working on a project with the Fralin Museum of Art at UVA. The team had developed a platform for creating iPad catalogs and ebooks and wanted to include 360-degree photography in these slick digital resources for the Fralin Museum.

“At the time, we went there and we helped them, and it was a pretty labor-intensive process… creating all that 360 photography,” says Holroyd. “While we were doing that I think we all realized that with some extra tooling, and with an iPhone app, this was suddenly something that, instead of having a team of experts come and work on, you could just download off the App Store and get started right away. That’s where the idea for Arqspin originally came from and that was always kind of the goal. Make this so simple that anybody can get into it.”

Meet Arqspin

Arqspin is a photography platform for creating interactive 360 spins. Arqspin is a useful tool for e-commerce ventures of all sizes, from personal projects on eBay to large retailers.

“We’ve seen anything you can imagine. Any product that is unique and looks different on different sides,” says Blessing.

The list includes rare diamonds, shrunken heads (for Ripley’s Believe It Or Not), fitness before and after shots and even a building under construction photographed by drones.

So, why might a company want to offer interactive images?

“So you can imagine one 360-degree image that you can grab and rotate and view from any angle is going to be more fun to view than scrolling through 12 or 14 different still images.”

Making sites more interactive and engaging gives businesses a boost over their competition. Not to mention, Arqspin reduces overall product photography time. It’s faster, more efficient and can be more cost-effective.

“It’s going to be easier to shoot one 35 second video than what it will 12 or 14 individual stills. So you’re going to be able to save time and money getting images that you desperately need onto your site through our process as well.”

Arqspin offers a simple software platform to capture images. They also offer motorized turntables, but you don’t necessarily require the Arqspin hardware. All customers need to create a 360-degree spin is a device to photograph with, the Arqspin iOS app, a turntable like a Lazy Susan and basic lighting set up to ensure a consistent image. Arqspin has cloud-based editing software so users can easily capture, upload and edit their images to prepare them for publication.


The ability to work smart with fiber Internet

The Arqball offices are located in Charlottesville, just a little off the Downtown Mall. Access to fiber Internet has defined the way Arqball does businesses and the way the team tries new things out at work every day.

“We’re much more likely to work here locally using the fast Internet to get all the data we need… then [we] just try things out until they work,” says Holroyd. “As opposed to having to commit to one idea and deploy it, see what happens, come back five minutes later, try it again.”

Ting fiber is so fast, you can upload and download up to 1000 Mbps over a wired in connection. That helps the Arqball team get information faster and test out new ideas immediately.

“A lot of times when things have a really fast turnaround, you can iterate and just try ideas really really fast until one of them works. And often, if you’re doing that on some remote server, you don’t get that kind of instant feedback.”

Arqspin doesn’t just use the Internet for their day-to-day operations. All of the spins created with Arqspin software are hosted by Arqball and deployed to the Internet. That’s hundreds of thousands of images that businesses of all shapes and sizes rely on.

“The Internet is vital to our business,” Blessing says. “We are a software as a service company. Without the Internet we would have no Arqspin.”