Luminate is the first platform to allow interactivity around a photo. Luminate

When most people look at photos, they see a photo.

When Bob Lisbonne looks at a photo, he sees a possibility.

Lisbonne is the chief executive of Luminate, formerly known as Pixazza, which is launching an interactive photo app. The app will allow publishers and advertisers to turn a photo into an interactive platform where people can launch applications from within an image.

"Image apps transform images from static pixels into interactive experiences," Lisbonne said in a statement. "Just as phones evolved from merely voice calls to smartphones with apps, now consumers can enjoy relevant apps inside every online image. The explosive use of images fueled by mobile, social, and cloud computing trends sets the stage for Luminate's pioneering new image apps platform."

With the app, publishers can take an image and link up a product on the image. Consumers would simply click on something they like and find out where to buy it. Through these Google sponsored ads, the publishers would be able to collect profits. Other services available through this app would be extra information and social based services such as commenting or sharing. Luminate also sees apps being specifically made for this platform.

The platform comes alive when users mouse into Luminate images and can choose their apps accordingly. Luminate says there is a lot of potential within image. Like mobile and social, Lisbonne sees companies building their futures around image strategies. James Everingham, chief technology officer of Luminate, also sees the potential in image apps.

"We were the first to develop the technology to overcome these complexities, turning images into an even more valuable asset. With our platform and the introduction of image apps, we believe that the entire Internet can become connected in a more meaningful way," Everingham said in a statement.

The privately owned Luminate has been backed by several prominent investors including Google. It has already raised $17.7 million and gotten several partners to sign up including NBC, CBS and Yahoo! All three have used the platform for their popular entertainment websites. The new platform, which goes beyond simply providing shopping information, will allow it to grow even further.

Follow Gabriel Perna on Twitter at @GabrielSPerna