Microsoft has a lot of interesting ventures in imagery, from its Pix camera app to Sprinkles, which produces AI-powered captions. Still, its latest acquisition comes as something of a surprise and makes us wonder what it’s planning.
SWNG is a ‘living photos’ app that lets iOS users capture interactive images. Users can “capture one-second moments that magically come to life,” such as 3D selfies. Users can playback animations by swiping or moving a mouse cursor or export them as slow-motion video to the camera roll. It’s also available in iMessage for easy sharing.
It’s an interesting concept, but it seems Microsoft is buying the team alongside its app. That includes Cole Rise, creator of the original Instagram filters.
“Swing employees will join the Skype team at Microsoft,” said a press release. “The Swing team will bring industry leading expertise in imaging technology and customer experiences to deliver on key innovations for Skype messaging and calling experiences.”
So far, it’s unclear what features they have in mind, but SWNG integration in Skype wouldn’t be a bad start. However, the team’s expertise in branding will also be key to promoting the new Skype experience.
“The Swing team’s deep expertise in imaging technology will help us deliver great new features and capabilities for Skype,” said Microsoft’s Corporate Vice President for Skype, Amritansh Raghav. “They have an impressive track record of delivering great user experiences and brand design around the technology they develop. I welcome the new team members and am excited about how Swing will deliver innovation to our customers.”
Skype’s recent redesign widely considered a step backward and the Swing team could help restore some of its image. Its app is simple, yet feature rich and beautiful, so it would be great to see some of that expertise.