At my grandfather's 90th birthday party, all family members were given a USB flash drive with an audio interview. In the interview, my grandparents told the story of their parents, how they met each other, what is was like raising their kids on the farm, and what they hope for their grandchildren. I basically heard their life story, or "audio-biography." This interview inspired me to create the Soal App and it's "audio ancestry." I have all four of my grandparents alive and wanted to preserve their stories and their voices for my future children. I figured other people would want this for their families, too.
The Soal App allows iPhone users to interview family members and then attach a photo to the recording. The Soal App is perfect for hearing the story behind old photographs. All of these audio moments are stored in a horizontal timeline. Each moment can be shared via email, SMS, Facebook, or Twitter. Family members are much more likely to cooperate with an audio interview as compared to a video interview. Audio recordings also take up much less storage space than video. Soal is ideal for exploring family history and hearing about our ancestors.
Soal ("Sounds Of A Lifetime") is a data preservation App. Our target user is the sentimental iPhone user--kids with aging parents/grandparents, as well as parents with growing kids. The Soal App is a perfect way to store memories of your parents, grandparents, and children. Soal can help you collect and carry the voices of your family with you wherever you go and save them forever. With Soal, future children will get to know their ancestors in ways never before possible. The Soal App is a chance to preserve your ancestors' souls in a convenient and heartwarming way.
We plan to add a family tree function so that each "branch" contains the voices of each ancestor. Each "Soal" is that person's audio legacy. Android and web versions are planned. A Soal API for Ancestry.com and familysearch.com would be a logical and exciting collaboration. Our newest version will extend recording time limits so that family members can tell longer stories for each photo added. "Soal2Soal" messaging will also be added by February so that family members can share directly to each other's timeline. This messaging feature will help collect more voices as it is perfect for sending a "Happy Birthday!" or "Congratulations!"
Besides audio ancestry, we are proud of the "Kid Chronicles", "Messages", "Music Momentos", and "Audio Guestbook", and "Journal" features. We are also excited about the design of our horizontal timeline, which is laid out like the soundtrack of your life. If seeing is believing, then hearing is remembering. Soal plans to be part of the future by helping people remember the past.