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.
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
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,
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
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."
in what Ivy can provide as a storage option? Please visit
for more information and exploration.