If you work or play from multiple computing devices – laptops, desktops and/or mobile phones, Sharpcast can be a killer productivity tool and an excellent way of keeping all kinds of files syncronized. In a very basic sense, it’s like IMAP for all your files.
Sharpcast came out of beta and released a 1.0 version of their photo synchronization application today. Sharpcast Photos syncs the photos you add and edits you make on your desktop, web, and mobile phone in real time.
The new version now allows you to collaboratively edit your photos and galleries, also in real time. Collaboration consists of the ability to share files and read/write privileges in public or private folders along with real time chat built into the client.
The demo I saw of Sharpcast’s real-time syncing is quite impressive, pushing file updates to all the platforms in under a second. Edit a photo in their application, on the web, or your desktop, and the changes are instantly pushed to each location. But Sharpcast isn’t trying to be the next Flickr, rather, the photo syncing application really a demo for their file syncing API. In the specific case of photos, whole photos are stored in each location, with edits to the original photo represented as meta data directions on how the to render the final version.
They currently have a broader file syncing application, Hummingbird, in the works. Hummingbird will handle syncing for all file types. It is essentially the same animal as the photo sharing application, but with fewer bells and whistles. Hummingbird will note and push your updates to your other platforms, but won’t carry out the same real-time updates of the photo product. To avoid the problem of two people making concurrent edits to a file, they will have to be saved, and then opened elsewhere to make changes. While Microsoft Word does support editing concurrency, Hummingbird does not currently support it.
Sharpcast took $13.5 million in financing last March.