You know all of those photos you take and have been taking for quite some time now? It’s getting pretty out of hand, what, eh? It’s not like you’re going to suddenly stop taking them any time soon. And how are you going to keep them all organized in a way that they make sense – and are searchable?
Maple Avenue Labs is working on it, and it all started when cofounder Jordan Soensen and his brother went to their parents’ for Thanksgiving and decided to organize all of the family photos. Not an easy task, so that brothers decided to change all that by developing new ways to organize and explore massive photo collections with software and image analysis technologies to deliver a better photo browsing experience that scales to hundreds of thousands of photos.
huelab.me generates a personalized, interactive artwork based on your Facebook photos, with a technology that analyzes your photos and generates a unique piece of art that reflects how the colors in your life have changed over time. Your huelab is unique to you – a snapshot of your life on social media, and it’s very cool.
Then there’s sifterr, a simple, powerful way to tag and organize your photos and keep them all organized with a simple swipe. Photo organization is broken into microtasks, making it so easy, you can do it on the subway, standing on line, or anywhere else where you have time on your hands. The Lab is also working on new technologies to automate a lot more of those tasks, too.
Sifterr also plays well with others. Because it sifts your photos into albums, you can use any app with albums to view, edit, and search your photos once you’ve tagged them.
Sorensen tells us about their current solutions – and what they’ve got coming up in the pipeline.
Tell us about the product..
Maple Avenue Labs is developing new ways to organize and explore massive photo collections. We have had two minor product releases so far – huelab.me is an infographic/abstract art piece generated from Facebook photos, and Sifterr is a swipe-to-organize photo organization app for iOS. We’re currently developing our first major product release, a machine vision technology that will make Sifterr the fastest and easiest way to organize photos.
How is it different?
We are developing a “95% computer vision + 5% human vision” strategy that we think will deliver on the promises computer vision has so far failed to produce. In addition, because we are a small startup, we have the freedom to explore novel new ways to think about organization that would be “too different” for entrenched players to roll out.
What market are you attacking and how big is it?
Our ultimate goal is to be the best photo organization solution for anyone with a large digital photo collection, a market with tens of millions of customers (conservatively) in the United States alone.
What is the business model?
Our immediate plans involve in-app sales and printed photo products.
What are the milestones that you plan to achieve within six months?
Release a “smart” version of our Sifterr app, which seems like magic to users and makes photo organization fast.
If you could be put in touch with one investor in the New York community who would it be and why?
We’re currently not looking for investment but always love meeting new people in the New York tech scene.
Why did you launch in New York?
One of our cofounders is located here, and New York has a vibrant and diverse startup culture. In addition, since Sifterr allows users to take advantage of time usually wasted on Facebook or mobile games, it’s the perfect fit for New Yorkers who spend an hour a day on the subway or bus.
What’s your favorite NYC bar when you need a quick winter warm me up?
MIST Harlem just opened, but they have a great cafe / working space during the day and a bar at night. If you go to the restaurant, get the chicken wings – they’re amazing.