Simon-Hill---Yeardot

CU Lecturer’s New App Creates Photo Timelines with a Twist

We love to take photos. An estimated 1.2 billion selfies alone were taken in the UK in 2014! Our obsession with taking photos on our phones means nothing or no-one is exempt for amateur snapping. Selfies, pics with friends, pets, DIY, adventures, etc; its all photo worthy.

Simon Hill from the Institute of Applied Entrepreneurship has devised an idea for logging time in relation to photos. After looking through photos of his French Bulldog ‘Izzy’, he realised he couldn’t he age of when she was in different photos. This was the inspiration for him to create his free app YearDot – a way to keep tabs on when photos of one topic were taken with the automatic production of a timeline to accompany it.

With the help of the University’s Serious Games Institute, Simon’s app allows users to produce as many timelines as they want for each subject they wish to keep track of. For example, the memories of a child growing up, you’ll be able to clearly see when the photos were taken in relation to all of the others you took. And tracking the progress of an art/design project need not be a pain to identify what was done at which point. With your ‘year dot’ created once the photos are imported to the app, the timeline is created and populated automatically. Timelines or specific time-stamped photos can then be shared on social media networks including Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Simon says;

I’m very excited to see how the app is received and whether the idea catches on. Everyone will have had those moments where they’re looking back through photos and wondering how old something was when it was taken. The likes of Facebook or Instagram won’t tell you that. But YearDot shows you how things you care about change over a period of time that you specify, simply by pulling the metadata from the image file. Once it’s time-stamped, you can then share with friends and family and it means a lot more.

I think the big test for YearDot will be whether users feel enticed enough by the concept that they start using it for certain types of photo albums instead of Facebook or Instagram, or at least before they share the photos on those platforms. The Serious Games Institute has helped me to create a really polished product with a clean design and intuitive user interface, so I’m confident it’ll prove popular.

YearDot is available now on Google’s Android platform, whilst an Apple App Store version is expected soon.

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Ryan Walker