Pholio – putting photos back in an album on the shelf

PholioPholio is looking to put the photo album back on the bookshelf – but in a very modern way.

Pholio is launching a 21st century photo album that brings all of our online photos back to the living room bookshelf.

The intelligent album will slurp up your vast collection of online images, as well as searching your collections instantly against 20,000 pre-programmed search terms.

You can teach Pholio to recognise your Aunt Mabel or Uncle Robert (Bob’s your uncle, right?). It will then return all the relevant images.

Pholio will also store and hunt through home videos, finding the moment in your dad’s 4-hour epic video when the cat skateboarded.

Finally, before you ask, yes, Pholio also works offline.

Pholio features

pholio deskThis new British device is able to pull content from the cloud, hard drives, mobile devices and computers. It will even gather those stored on your social platforms.

Its built-in A.I. recognises 20,000 complex visual search terms and will learn based on your own collections.

This is all pretty handy as, apparently, the average person has created more than 20,000 digital photos and personal videos. Moreover, these are most likely scattered around the web.

The technology has been developed in conjunction with academics at the University of Oxford. It has been tested on the extensive Courtauld Institute collection at Somerset House, enabling historians to classify work by content.

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The Pholio device, shaped like a stylish photo album. Its aim is to bring all images and home videos loaded to file sharing sites such as Facebook, Google and Flickr back to a central storage unit on a home shelf.

The software in Pholio then automatically checks all images in the ‘album’ against 20,000 in-built search terms, from ‘birthday’ to ‘license plate’ and ‘house renovation’.
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By keying a relevant search term into a browser on a connected TV screen, tablet, phone or laptop at home, families can search for all sorts of things in their own photo collections – from day trips to Bangor to bungie jumps in Niagara.

House trained

Pholio was trained in the lab by showing it millions of images with a wide range of content.

A clever set of deep learning algorithms, codenamed ‘Haystack’, has learnt how to create a unique summary of the contents of images.

Now, Pholio can recognise and classify faces, objects and scenes that it has never seen before.

pholio bookshelfFurthermore, there are 20,000 custom search terms are already built into Pholio. You can even teach it to recognise your friends and relatives by name.

The 20,000 search terms can still be used if the device can is run offline. However, if the box is connected to the Internet, you can search for anything (Pholio can learn new search terms on the fly based on what users search for).

A short history of our photography collections

  • 1850s The earliest photo albums created. Owners often put the albums on display and they featured ornate illustrations surrounding the images.
  • 1920s 35mm film invented
  • 1948 First Polaroid camera launched
  • 1997 Philippe Kahn instantly shared the first pictures from the maternity ward where his daughter Sophie was born. He wirelessly transmitted his cell phone pictures to more than 2,000 family, friends and associates around the world. Kahn’s wireless sharing software and camera integrated into his cell phone signalled the birth of instant visual communications. Kahn’s cell phone transmission is the first known publicly shared picture via a mobile phone.
  • 2000 The first dedicated camera phone sold in Japan
  • 2004 Launch of Flickr
  • 2005 Dixons ends 35mm film camera sales
  • 2010 Launch of Instagram
  • 2017 An estimated 1.2 trillion digital images taken, scattering our collections worldwide
  • 2017 Pholio launches, bringing the photo album home

Price and availability

Pholio is taking pre-orders via Kickstarter for today. Prices start at £199, with first deliveries in time for Christmas.

It will be available in two flavours:

  • Pholio – 500GB Storage-140k photos
  • PholioPro: 2TB Storage –560k photos

Head to the website for more details.