Monetizing Photo Apps -
print products to the rescue

October 5, 2017 by Hans Hartman


The need for monetization is part of the challenging new reality that photo app developers face these days - monetization no longer at some point in the future, but soon, if not today. A range of options for doing so are available, the appropriate one will depend on the size of an app's user base, the types of users, the way the app enables its users to interact with their photos, and the funding of the photo app startup, among other factors.  

Below, we'll illustrate these options with examples of companies that will present at Mobile Photo Connect, to be held October 24-25 in San Francisco.

When your user base is large enough, and your users engage with their photos on a regular basis and virally share them with others, there is no lack of options: from advertising, to brand sponsorships, to charging for the app, to offering photo print products.



Regaind, winner of last year's Mobile Photo Connect Best Technology Award, 
acquired by Apple! 

October 2, 2017 by Hans Hartman


Congrats to Arnaud Laurenty and Guillaume Seguin, co-founders of Regaind, the French computer vision startup that won last year's Mobile Photo Connect Best Technology Award. As was reported right before the weekend, they've been acquired by Apple.

They join an illustrious lineup of previous Mobile Photo Connect presenters whose companies have been acquired after their Mobile Photo Connect appearance:



    Innovative solution providers tackle the ever-growing headaches of photo management and storage

    September 27, 2017 by Hans Hartman


    It's a given: we are all overwhelmed by the sheer number of photos we take, or that are being shared with us. With some of these, it's no big deal if you accidentally missed viewing them, or if you can't locate them again after you've first enjoyed them. With others, it does matter: According to our recent survey, 58% of photos on average are considered to be "long life" keepers.

    So we want to know on which device or cloud service these important photos reside, and how to find them. As if that weren't challenging enough, we also want to be able to safely back them up in case something goes wrong with the device on which they most likely reside (read: our phone) or archive them, in case that phone runs out of storage space.

    The good news is we're now seeing innovative vendors of photo app, device, and cloud storage solutions tackling the multiple challenges related to how consumers find and browse the photos that matter to them.

    The following is an overview of these solutions, several of which will be demonstrated or discussed at our upcoming Mobile Photo Connect conference, October 24-25 in San Francisco:



    AI: it’s time to take image recognition beyond auto-tagging

    September 14, 2017 by Hans Hartman


    At Mobile Photo Connect we’ve covered AI from the days when AI-based image recognition technologies first left the realm of academics and morphed into apps and services for automatically classifying consumers’ image collections. 

    Three years ago we enjoyed having on stage Matt Zeiler, discussing the products of his then 2-person startup, Clarifai (the company now has 55+ employees, has raised $40M, and is reportedly valued at $120M).  The same year we also had Yi Li, CEO of Orbeus, share her perspectives on image recognition (Orbeus has since been acquired by Amazon and its technology supplies many of the face and image recognition features in Amazon Photos).                                    

    Fast forward to today.  AI for face recognition and auto-tagging images (“find my photos with cats in them”) has matured so much that it has become a commodity, while innovative new AI applications are being developed both inside and outside our consumer imaging industry (think of camera-equipped self-driving cars that interpret visual information in real-time, for instance).


    The iPhone X deep-dive – Why this phone will disrupt the mobile imaging ecosystem

    September 14, 2017 by Floris van Eck


    After months of speculation, on Wednesday Apple unveiled its new flagship phone, the iPhone X. This new addition to the Apple family marks the 10th anniversary of the iPhone, the device that changed the world at a scale and in a time span, no one, not even Steve Jobs, could have foreseen.

    What makes the iPhone X unique isn't its design (I am personally of the opinion that Apple's design has been uninspired for years), or even its massively immersive 5.8" OLED screen - it is the machine learning, depth imaging sensors and processors that set it apart and justify the phone's $999 entry price point. The iPhone X is a groundbreaking device that gives us a window into the future of mobile imaging.



    Going Deep – the race for depth imaging smartphones is on

    August 15, 2017 by Hans Hartman


    Our smartphones will soon be depth imaging devices, featuring cameras that measure depth information for each part of the image.  Lenovo already came out with the Google Tango-based Phab 2 phone last year and with the upcoming release of the iPhone 8 we'll finally find out why Apple paid $350M to acquire the Israeli company PrimeSense back in 2013 (PrimeSense originally provided the technology behind the Microsoft Kinect game accessory).

    The market for depth imaging and sensing devices is booming, according to the recently released Smartphone Depth Sensing report from Woodside Capital Partners and Yole Développement



    Photo storage 4.0 - it's deduplication, stupid!

    August 2, 2017 by Hans Hartman


    Today, I'd like to share the second part of our photo storage survey findings that relate to how and why consumers store their smartphone photos on cloud services or home storage devices, as well as what features they most value in photo organizing apps or services.

    Why store photos in the cloud?
    On a 5-step scale from totally unimportant to extremely important, the ability to back up photos in the cloud is most frequently considered important or extremely important, followed by the ability to aggregate one's photos in an easy or automatic way and the option to access all one's photos from any device.



    Reality check: taking, keeping, storing smartphone photos

    July 19, 2017 by Hans Hartman


    Only three months to go until our fifth edition of Mobile Photo Connect, so it's the perfect time for a reality check! Not a week goes by without some industry observer, tech writer or photo vendor uttering the phrase "more than ever before" in relation to how/when/why/where consumers take, store or share photos with their smartphones. But are smartphone photos really still as "hot" as we keep hearing? Or is this an instance of groupthink? 

    In November 2015, we conducted our The photos at your fingertips study, which included an extensive survey about how consumers were taking, storing and managing their photos, as well as what types of solutions they wanted to see in the future. But that was 1.5 years ago - and a lot has changed in the meantime.  



    VR: a dud? Or has it barely started?

    June 29, 2017 by Hans Hartman


    Yesterday, I had the pleasure of moderating a panel about VR at the New York La French Touch conference that exactly addressed this question. With four panelists whose companies push the VR envelope in 360 capture, 360 editing, 360 in-headset authoring, and 360 professional content aggregation, it was refreshing to see that VR startups are unabashed in pushing VR forward, even now that VR is no longer the buzzword de jour that it was a year ago.  Trough of disillusionment? Who cares!

    Let me share with you what they do.




    WWDC takeaways: lots of great news for photo app developers, but one major puzzler

    June 8, 2017 by Hans Hartman


    The photo app developers I spoke with are overwhelmingly excited about a range of WWDC announcements, even though one of these dumbfounded several developers. We'll get into that one later; let's start with the four most exciting announcements.

    ARKit: making mixed reality easier to create and more realistic to view

    Apple's OS 11 developer ARKit enables developers to build mixed reality apps that interpret the imagery from the user's iPhone camera by identifying surfaces, tracking motion, estimating scale as well as ambient lighting, and by providing fast and stable motion tracking. 

    What does that mean? 



    Google I/O: what's wrong with a lack of
    jaw-dropping announcements?


    May 23, 2017 by Hans Hartman


    In short: Nothing.

    With an emphasis on incremental improvements to Google's photo organizing, sharing and search solutions, Google's maturing solutions are now becoming so easy, efficient, and helpful that many consumers will feel they can't live without them. Perhaps equally important, Google is opening up more and more of its supporting AI technologies to developers - for companies who can't afford to hire an army of AI PhDs.

    To put the photo-related announcements in perspective, note that Google CEO Sundar Pichai proclaimed that we are shifting from a mobile-first to an AI-first world



    Announcing Mobile Photo Connect 2017

    Expanding to 1.5-day program; attractive Early Bird VIP program

    May 11, 2017 by Hans Hartman



    Move over Snap:
    Facebook is the camera company to beat

    It's the platform, stupid

    April 25, 2017 by Hans Hartman



    Canon’s acquisition of Kite –
    the view from the stakeholders

    April 13, 2017 by Hans Hartman



    The unstoppable rise of Stories

    New social visual story telling format strikes a chord in social networks and chat services

    March 22, 2017 by Hans Hartman



    The five most interesting product launches at Mobile World Congress (Barcelona) and Business Forum Imaging (Cologne)

    Nostalgia, minimalistic product design,
    and a new approach for connecting DSLRs to the cloud

    March 9, 2017 by Hans Hartman

    Read More -> 


    The unpredicted but explainable comeback
    of instant printing

    Camera-printers and Snapchat; retro photo prints and Instagram; instant sharing and WhatsApp – today’s instant printing popularity is more than a niche phenomenon

    February 22, 2017 by Hans Hartman



    From Artificial Intelligence to
    Intelligent Imaging

    AI buzz is everywhere – but smart imaging innovations are flourishing
    right inside our industry

    February 7, 2017 by Hans Hartman




    What Snapchat, GoPro and Giroptic have in common

    January 25, 2017 by Hans Hartman


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