The Future of Preserving Prints

Collecting and recreating images is a practice as old as humanity itself. From cave-wall paintings to Snapchat updates, our species has always found creative ways to preserve moments that would otherwise have faded from memory. As we advance the tools we use to preserve these images, the question arises: How long will a new format last until it must be replaced?

From Print to Pixels

London’s Cambridge University Library is home to some of the most important literary works in the history of the world. One such piece, The Manual of Calligraphy and Painting, is renowned not only for what it contains, but for being something only a few people have seen. The original 17th century Chinese tome, containing over 138 paintings and poems, is a rare book indeed. The Cambridge copy, considered too delicate to open, remains closed within its display. Fortunately, the book has been reprinted many times over the centuries, and those reprints paved the way for the new digital incarnation.

landscape painting
Image via MentalFloss

Since the book holds such historical significance, the library explored several options for making its pages available when the book itself couldn’t be opened. Using one of the older reprints, the library made digital copies of the pages that scholars and the public would be able to view at their leisure. Now everyone can see inside the book that helped revolutionize printing technology.

In a Snap

It may be hard to believe, but most of today’s youth have no idea what it’s like to hold an actual photograph in their hands. These days, posting a photo to a “wall” usually means sharing it on social media. Yet there’s a growing movement looking to bring back printed photographs in the digital age. The company leading the charge is one whose name is synonymous with “point and shoot.”

camera and snapshot
Image via Wired.

The Polaroid camera brought a much-needed simplicity to consumer photography. A camera that took and instantly printed photos, it did away with the need for professional development. Later, with the advent of digital photography, most people went without physical prints altogether.

Yet Polaroid has seen a revival in the Digital Age. Last year saw the introduction of the company’s Cube mini-camera and Zip instant mobile printer. This year will see an addition to their new digital line with the introduction of the Snap (see above). Although the Snap doesn’t have the extensive editing features of smartphone cameras and photo sites like Instagram, it does come with flash, timer, and instant ink-free printing.

The camera is scheduled to hit store shelves this winter for $99.

See what Develops

If the history of technology has taught us anything, it’s that no format is perfect or permanent. Even digital images are subject to degradation. But with each new advance comes the ability to preserve images for generations to come. We’ve come a long way from cave-wall paintings. Now we just need to make sure they're preserved for future tribes!

All-New Photo-Sharing App Takes A Roadtrip

29. April 2013 07:06 by Calvin Yu in Technology News  //  Tags: , , , , , , , ,   //   Comments (0)

Divvy

Divvy, a dynamic photo-sharing application available for Mac OS and Microsoft Windows that takes its name from the abbreviated form of the verb divide, is ready to hit the road.

Reaching out to new users across the nation

Jeremy Greenfield and Keyvon Olomi, who founded Divvy, have set out on a cross-country road trip to promote and market the app, which enables users to view and save photos from all of their favorite social media outlets, like Facebook and Instagram, and also to share the images with individuals, groups, people nearby, and their friends and followers on Facebook and Twitter.

After leaving Tulsa, Oklahoma on April 1, the two, as of this writing, are touring the Northeast with plans to visit colleges in the greater Boston metropolitan area before heading to Denver in the next three weeks.

A new and easier way to share photos via social media

Olomi, who founded AppTank in late 2010, devised Divvy to alleviate the tedious hassle of moving between Facebook and Instagram to share photos with friends, as well as the inconvenience of Instagram's lack of zoom and save features. In addition, he designed Divvy so that its users could share photos more privately than on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Even better, a user can snap a picture and use the “Around Me” feature to instantly share the image with whomever he or she wants!

Yet another neat thing about Divvy is that a user can take a printout from any printer, be it a conventional inkjet or laser model or the Little Printer, the Circle Printer, and the PocketJet printer, snap a photo with Divvy and share it with all of his or her friends, family and followers.

However, the feature that Greenfield and Olomi are touting as Divvy's main selling point is its photo aggregation capabilities, which entails linking with users' Facebook and Instagram accounts, displaying images from the respective feeds and enabling Divvy users to share photos with nearby Divvy users, individuals, groups and all their followers. 

Although at this time, Facebook and Instagram are the only two social media platforms that link with Divvy, there are immediate plans to support the capability to link with users' Twitter, Tumblr, Flickr, and Dropbox accounts. Nonetheless, the reviews on Divvy's page on iTunes' App Store website are indeed glowing.

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