In this Facebook, Twitter and Instagram age, there’s no shortage of places to post pictures, but one app developer thinks there could be value in not necessarily exposing ourselves to these memories ad nauseum. Enter ThrowBack.
ThrowBack is a photography app for iPhone, but instead of saving the pictures you take with it to the phone itself, it saves them online to be emailed to you and those you choose to share them with at a later date. It’s a way to create future mementos instead of just another batch of pictures to post online and forget about.
A photo can be emailed out anytime between one month and five years from when it was taken. The user can designate that it be sent randomly as a “surprise” within that time frame or on a specific date within it. It can also be sent randomly anytime during a smaller specified window (i.e., any day in December 2015).
The app’s creator, Calli Higgins, currently an instructor for the New York City College of Technology, was a graduate student in Interactive Telecommunications at NYU when she began to develop the idea for ThrowBack.
“My stepbrother passed away back in March 2011, when I was just in the beginning stages of developing ThrowBack,” Higgins told ABC News. “A few days after I received the news, I came across a Holga camera in my room and realized that there was a roll of undeveloped film inside from a family vacation we took together back in 2009. Viewing these images and recalling the associated memories was a huge comfort to me during this incredibly emotional time. The experience helped me to realize the value in reflecting on past experience.”
Higgins went on to say that she feels ThrowBack is a chance to use technology to yank a moment from the past into the future. “It holds onto your memories until you have enough distance from them to make them meaningful.”
The app is now available for the iPhone as a free download in the App Store. As for the prospects of monetizing her project, Higgins said, “Right now I just want to get it out there. My goal is to continue to work on it.”