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Science & Technology News

Wednesday, 12 February, 2014 0:16 AM

What Ivy Aims to Provide as a Photo-Organizing App

Graphic credit: Ivy Gallery

The new Ivy Gallery app is available on iTunes and Google Play.

 

by Pete Bublitz
petblitz@yahoo.com

 

|

As 2014 moves forward, the online sharing world is certainly seeing a diverse field in interactive photo options, from Instagram to Google+. One expert in data storage, however, feels there’s a way to make photo organizing more interactive and compatible. Yue Zhuge, Ph.D., is the Co-Founder/CEO of Ivy Gallery, a photography-related application dedicated to providing organizing options across an expanding number of storage platforms. With prior experience at Microsoft and Yahoo, Yue’s personal interests and an accompanying frustration were the drive needed to establish Ivy. In the following exchange, Yue explains what Ivy grew out of, what it features and became available to, and where she anticipates it is headed.

How did this project originate and how, you anticipate, will it evolve? How do you plan to expand it?
 
Yue: "The project started as both co-founders ([myself and] Tian Bai, colleagues at Microsoft) were photo lovers, and we found it was hard to nicely and easily organize and share the many photos we own. Most photo apps work well with a subset of photos, but we want to take advantage of our technical background in large data processing to tackle the 'manage all your photos for you' theme.  Ivy has evolved today to handle seven cloud storages (we are adding Box in the release coming out [this] week) as well as photos in multiple mobile devices. It is also available for both iPhone and Android.
 
In the coming month, we look forward to add several ‘smart features’ into Ivy Gallery, such as recognizing different types of images. We will also release it to more markets in addition to the US markets."  
 
What interest has it garnered up to the present, and what setbacks/risks have been encountered along the way? 
 
Yue: "We started some moderate effort to talk to the consumer media in January. So far the response has been very positive. Both our background and the product idea were interesting to people. We hope the combination of our technical/product background in the Internet with the ever-growing needs to record and communicate using images will produce a very useful product for our consumers."
 
How would the service update and improve upon your photo collection if they are already in numerous categories? Is there an alternative to just dumping everything out and starting all over? 
 
Yue: "If a user has sort out his or her photo by folders (categories), then Ivy Gallery will respect the folders and keep the photos from the same folder in one ‘event’. For the rest of photos, automatic assignment into events based on location and time will happen, still, app users can manually edit the category and move photos around."
 
Is it too much of a hassle organizing if you possess one too many devices that contain separate and different photo files? How can Ivy resolve that, especially when there's too much time already filled up on one's schedule? 
 
Yue: "This is exactly when Ivy can come to play. You can choose to dump those photos in one or more clouds and then use Ivy for its automatic indexing. Or if you prefer to keep those photos in local devices, you can install Ivy on all those devices and view both your local and cloud photos together."
 
I know of Instagram being a future platform, but are there others you're considering for Ivy? 
 
Yue: "We just integrated Instagram in our v1.2 release, and Box is in v1.3 that is already completed and in AppStore review. So far we have integrated seven cloud/photo storages: Dropbox, Google Drive, Sky Drive, Instagram, Picasa, Flickr, Box."
 
Will the tagging option allow for customization in terms of names and styles? How so?
 
Yue: "If you refer to the re-naming of the events, yes, you can re-name your events and also change the date. For example, if I scan a few photos of myself when I was ten years old, I can use Ivy to group them into an event called “Yue Ten Year Old Photos”, change the date to Jan 2000, and then share the event with my mother.
 
Currently there is no ‘style’ customization. If you think that is something useful, we are willing to listen."
 
Aside from tagging, what other customization and editing options will be available?
 
Yue: "To list a few, one can manually group and re-group photos, and he can ‘show’ some photos on the app dashboard and ‘hide’ other photos to the back. Once a photo is shared, people can also make comments on the photo. Of course, delete is supported (you can even delete multiple photos at once.)"
 
What are the advantages provided by format conversion?
 
Yue: "For this point, what we really wanted to say is after you have you photos organized and lined up, you can select your favorites, either print them into physical form, or share them privately with friends and family. Ivy offers sharing large quantities of photos easily. You can ‘invite’ your friends and family to view every photo in an event, and they can add to that too!"
 
In terms of social sharing sites, what strategy will Ivy try to initiate regarding promotion and advertising? 
 
Yue: "We hope Ivy is a good product that people would like to use all the time, and of course we hope they will spread the words to their community. We have set up our Facebook page (http://facebook.com/ivygallery) and Twitter page (https://twitter.com/ivygallery) and we hope to promote Ivy more through social channels."
 
With the milestone of one month into the New Year approaching, what are the most vital goals you seek to accomplish with Ivy by 2014's end? 
 
Yue: "As a brand new product on the market, Ivy in 2014 will have to gain user satisfaction and user growth. This is our most vital goal, all efforts in product design, development and marketing will serve this goal."

Interested in what Ivy can provide as a storage option? Please visit http://ivy.ag/ for more information and exploration.
 

 

Graphic credit: Ivy Gallery

An elegant and smart photo organizer that automatically collates your photo life into events, from your device and your cloud storage.

 

Graphic credit: Ivy Gallery

It saves photos to your Dropbox etc., at original resolution, consuming no mobile data.

 


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