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Spanish startup blends pictures with video for photographers

When a Barcelona company sought to blend the tradition and keepsake quality of photographs with the dynamism of video it took an old Bob Dylan song called Open the Door, Homer for its theme.

 

“Take care of all your memories”

Said my friend, Mick

“For you cannot relive them.”

 

“Photography always has a lot of disruptive innovation and last year more than a trillion pictures were taken,” says Josep Balleste, CEO of startup company EmotionsAR. “That’s 25 per cent of all pictures taken in history. There has also been an explosion in video and almost 80 per cent of consumer internet traffic today is video.”

But there’s a conundrum…

“Pictures are static but you can print them. Video adds an element – motion – but you can’t print them. Printing a video would be awesome – that would be a blast. And that’s what we wanted: a new concept with video and sound that you could print.”

Pairing still images with motion video using a snappy implementation of augmented reality is what EmotionsAR has done in an appeal to professional photographers for weddings, conferences, school open days and other events.

It’s hard to change the habits of people but that’s just what Balleste and team are attempting to do.

“We wanted to make it as simple and hassle-free as possible, just a couple of seconds, to make it the most democratic and easy to use as it could be.”

Balleste, a native of nearby Tarragona, and his Catalan colleagues spent 20 months on research and development, developing an algorithm that can identify a picture in about 60 milliseconds.

“We wanted to have smooth effects so you would feel like the picture was coming alive… like a Harry Potter movie special effect.”

EmotionsAR raised a modest $350,000 in seed funding but it expects to pull in more funding soon and Balleste has high ambitions.

“The challenge now is to go worldwide,” he says Balleste, but he is also proud of developments closer to home. Barcelona is “booming”, he says, and its combination of creativity and as a new crucible for technology has inspired him.

“It’s becoming a hub of inspiration with lots of people trying to create innovative things,” he says.” We want to change the rules and have lots of fun. We always remember that Bob Dylan song though. If you don’t organise your photos into an album there’s a high risk of forgetting. Now people can organise them into a video book and get more.”

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Martin Veitch

Martin Veitch is Contributing Editor for IDG Connect

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