Lecturer's new app creates photo timelines with a twist

Lecturer's new app creates photo timelines with a twist

Coventry University lecturer Simon Hill shows off his YearDot app.

Business news

Friday 07 August 2015

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A lecturer in entrepreneurship at Coventry University has launched a free app which helps users keep tabs on how much time has passed between their photos.

Simon Hill from the Institute of Applied Entrepreneurship came up with the idea for his app – YearDot – when he was looking back through pictures of his French Bulldog, Izzy, and couldn’t remember her age in different photos.

With the help of the University’s Serious Games Institute, Simon designed an app which allows users to create timelines of photos which are then stamped with the time that has passed since a given moment – the ‘year dot’.

YearDot users can create as many timelines as they like, meaning they can keep track of anything from the progress of a DIY project (each photo would show the time that has passed since the project started) to the memories of a child growing up.

Photos can be imported into the app retrospectively, and as long as an image’s metadata – which stores file information such as the creation date – is intact, a timeline which is accurate to the minute will be created automatically.

Timelines or specific time-stamped photos can then be shared via the likes of Facebook, Twitter and Instagram at the touch of a button.

YearDot is currently available on Google’s Android platform – an Apple version is in the making – and Simon is confident it offers something different enough to attract users away from other apps.

Simon, who lectures on the University’s enterprise and entrepreneurship course, said: 


I’m very excited to see how the app is received and whether the idea catches on. Everyone will have had those moments where they’re looking back through photos and wondering how old something was when it was taken. The likes of Facebook or Instagram won’t tell you that. But YearDot shows you how things you care about change over a period of time that you specify, simply by pulling the metadata from the image file. Once it’s time-stamped, you can then share with friends and family and it means a lot more.

I think the big test for YearDot will be whether users feel enticed enough by the concept that they start using it for certain types of photo albums instead of Facebook or Instagram, or at least before they share the photos on those platforms. The Serious Games Institute has helped me to create a really polished product with a clean design and intuitive user interface, so I’m confident it’ll prove popular.