In Events, Frontpage Featured Content, Mobile, News

By Hans Hartman

Before we jump in, here are some useful Mobile Photo Connect 2017 links:

Visual 1st, a new conference name – after 5 years of Mobile Photo Connect, it’s time for reflection and refocus

  • With visuals now the cornerstone of social media, publishing and messaging networks, as well as mixed reality and AI, the choice of Visual 1st ( as the new conference name was a natural one. It signifies a broadening from ‘mobile’ and ‘photo’ as the main descriptors, as they’ve either become ubiquitous (as is the case for ‘mobile’) or too narrow to describe the conference’s content which now includes videography, drone cameras, action cams, 360 cameras, VR, and AR.

scroll down for “A few more things…” industry news


Google – Google’s visual content and machine learning tools strengthen each other. By offering both visual content properties and machine learning tools, Google is in a unique position to leverage as well as fine-tune its visual AI algorithms

  • Google’s apps and services managers not only have unique access to Google’s machine learning tools for automating the photo aggregation and selection processes, they also collect important AI training data that they supply back to their colleagues in the visual tool departments.

Adobe – Any-device editing requires a delicate balance between feature parity and device-optimized UI

  • Through trial and error, Adobe has managed to strike a fine balance between letting its customers edit images on any device, while adapting the UI to the constraints (such as screen size) and opportunities (such as touch) of particular device types.

Lightricks – Since selling paid photo or video apps in the app store is not very scalable, app developers are exploring scaling up their user base by building their own viral communities, or, in the case of Lightricks, are experimenting with a freemium app subscription model similar to what Adobe and Microsoft have successfully done with their desktop apps

  • Although it is too early to tell at this point, Lightricks expects to increase their 2016 net revenues of around $10M by an order of magnitude in the coming years.

Photomyne – bridging analog to digital through mobile

  • Photomyne, this year’s Visual 1st Best of Show Award winner, provides a value proposition that very much resonated with our jury.The Photomyne app offers an efficient way to scan, auto-crop and restore colors of legacy printed photos, as well as to safely back these photos up in the cloud. The company aims to build the world’s largest archive of pre-digital images.

5 More Mobile Photo Connect takeaways in our next edition; make sure to register to receive Visual 1st Perspectives in your mailbox.

A few more things …

Prynt. Subscriptions, the new holy grail. It’s not only photo editing apps that are turning to subscriptions as a way to monetize their apps (see Lightricks above): several photo prints apps do the same and now an instant camera printing startup, Prynt, introduces a $35 per 2 months subscription to unlimited instant printing paper.

Pixlplay. A camera as a toy? Or an excuse for buying the iPhone X for yourself and handing over your old iPhone to your little one? Inspired by the classic 35 mm camera design, the Pixlplay toy camera provides a child-proof casing around an iPhone, along with a super easy interface and a companion photo app. Pixlplay is named as one of the best 10 technology toys by Dr. Toy. And how many other camera companies would be proud of that?

Facebook Messenger. Photos received on Messenger are throwaways and not suited for high res prints? No longer so: Messenger photos can now be up to 4Kx4K.

Snap. It’s apparently time to stop the bleeding and make some money. With the needs for a strategic overhaul finally publicly admitted, reports emerged today of a drastically redesigned UI, while Snapchat keeps adding features that advertisers should like: its filters are becoming contextual through image recognition and it announces two new ad formats (Promoted Stories, which string together multiple Snaps into longer-form slideshows, and Augmented Reality Trial ads, which let people play with an AR version of a product overlaid on the world around them).

Amazon. Face identification going real time: Amazon’s Rekognition image recognition service (remember Orbeus, anyone?) now performs real-time face searches across collections of millions of faces. In addition, it can now also detect up to 100 different faces in a photo, compared to its previous limit of 15 faces.

Business Forum Imaging. With the theme “Creating new realities,” photokina will host the Business Forum Imaging conference, February 28 – March 1, 2018 in Cologne. Join me there for an in-depth discussion of the potential and limitations of augmented reality, as well as for a fast-paced Show & Tell session with a number of innovative photo startups. Interested in presenting your app or service?  Drop me a note!

The Dead Pixels Society. Our industry friend Gary Pageau is keeping close tabs on “news for 21st century photo businesses.” Great resource!

Expanding the US Photo Printing Market. A new research report from two other industry friends, Frank Baillargeon and Don Franz, covering the US photo printing market. Great resource!

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Hans Hartman

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