The Photo Album is Back, and it is More Powerful Than Ever

We may not be professional photographers, but we do love the noble art of taking pictures. Whether we are traveling to new places, visiting our favourite gems, indulging in cultural masterpieces or simply admiring that morning latte, we love taking photos. But what is really a great snapshot without anyone to share it with? Pictures are memories worth sharing with family, friends and complete strangers whom we wish to impress with our colour coded feed. People might call us photo addicts or the oversharing generation, but in this superficial focus world, maybe we’re actually doing something valuable. Aren’t we in fact capturing precious moments worth looking back upon?

In our highly digitalized society, we have come a long way since the very first camera was envisioned by Johann Zahn way back in 1685. Even though it took him almost 150 years to actually capture something, we highly value his contribution! Because, just how Instagram is used for the modern people to share our precious memories today, artist in the 17th century portrayed their most valuable pieces in black and white photos, in what is known to be the earliest photo albums. Since then, countless of children have spent their childhood sitting on grandma’s lap looking at old pictures, listening to stories of the “good ol’ days”. However, since the launch of the first digital camera, the uprising of the internet and launch of Instagram in 2010, we seem to have forgotten about the fine creation that is the photo album.

Until now… The family photo album, once a fixture of the living room bookshelf, is making a massive comeback! The London based technology company Pholio, has in partnership with academics from Oxford, invented a stylish yet powerful device, to collect those thousands of images and videos scattered across the web, to a central storage unit in your home. With Artificial Intelligence and Deep Learning Algorism, Pholio can recognize pictures from file sharing sites like Facebook, Google and Flicker. By searching for relevant terms on the internet via a computer, tablet or TV you can find all sorts of pictures in your personal photo collection. With a capacity of over 140,000 images, the Pholio combines the performance of modern technology, with the simplicity of the classic photo album.

Simon Randal, the CEO of the company told YCB“We set up Pholio after I realised that I simply couldn’t keep track of all the family photos that I have. I have lived on both sides of the digital divide and can remember when photos were taken on film. There were far fewer of them and it was much easier to recall what you had stored. These days we set up collections all over the web and it is easy to lose touch with our memories. With Pholio, if you are looking for that photograph of Auntie Doris in a giraffe costume on a seaside pier, you can find it in a second.”

Pholio is like having a state of the art search engine for your family archives, on your own TV-table. It will be a blessing for all those hobbyist and collectors, tearing their hair out sorting pictures, who will now be able to train their system to recognize the things they care about. Randall explains “Pholio brings everything that photo albums did back to our homes, except – and this dates me – the sound of separating cellophane.”

In the highly digitalized society we undoubtable live in, the use of social media is constantly expanding. Weather the purpose is to indulge in famous influencers’ perfect feeds or share our own special memories with hope to inspire others, new users sign up to these channels every day. Estimates of an astonishing 1.2 trillion photographs, are to be taken this year, Pholio is a perfect way to keep track of yours.

Pholio is taking pre-orders via Kickstarter today, with first deliveries in time for Christmas.

Hedvig Andersson

Hedvig is an enthusiastic 22‑year‑old from the South of Sweden who loves a good challenge. Whether it's trying out snowboarding in the Japanese alps or acing the financial accounting finals, she never shies away from trying something new. Hedvig is based in London, studying Business Management at King's College.